Road traffic crashes and sequelae are reaching pandemic proportions globally and have currently achieved disproportionately high levels in Nigeria. Quantitative studies are accumulating in the peer-reviewed literature, but there is a paucity of qualitative research in Nigeria. Data for this study of structural and behavioral factors of road traffic crashes and injuries in Federal Capital Territory were collected in semi-structured interviews with crash survivors at National Hospital Abuja. Interviews were analyzed via qualitative content analysis, revealing crash location and participant beliefs about crash etiologies. Units of analysis were developed from participant statements and were structured within four a priori etiologic categories using Haddon’s (1980) matrix: human-, vehicle-, physical environment-, and socioeconomic environment-related. Subcategories were generated. Human-related subcategories included reckless behavior and drivers, limited technical knowledge and skill. Vehicle-related subcategories included vehicular disrepair and lack of safety equipment. Physical environment-related subcategories included road disrepair, infrastructural inadequacy, and weather. Socioeconomic environment-related subcategories included government, prehospital care, money, and prayer. Subcategories were organized temporally by pre-event, event, and post-event phases, with most units of analysis allocated in the pre-event phase. These qualitative results can be utilized to guide future research along community-aligned priorities, and to structure community-engaged preventative and interventional efforts.


Road Traffic Injury, Road Traffic Crash, Nigeria, Qualitative, Semi-Structured Interview, Content Analysis, Haddon’s Matrix

Author Bio(s)

Benjamin D. Holmes is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN. He also practices chiropractic at Mayo Clinic. His research interests lie in global health and in using mixed methods analytical techniques to study road traffic trauma and spinal pain disorders. Correspondence regarding this article can be addressed directly to: holmes.benjamin@mayo.edu.

Kristin Haglund is a Professor of Nursing at Marquette University. She practices primary care at Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin. She is a community-engaged researcher specialized in qualitative methods. Correspondence regarding this article can also be addressed directly to: kristin.haglund@marquette.edu.

Emmanuel A. Ameh is a Professor of Paediatric Surgery and Consultant Paediatric Surgeon at National Hospital Abuja, Nigeria. He is actively involved in educational and training program development with various surgical associations throughout sub Saharan Africa. He has been actively involved in developing sustainable trauma registry in Nigeria. He was a commissioner on the Lancet Commission for Global Surgery and led the recently concluded National Surgical, Obstetrics, Anaesthesia and Nursing Plan for Nigeria. He also serves on the Global Initiative for Children’s Surgery core organization committee. Correspondence regarding this article can also be addressed directly to: eaameh@yahoo.co.uk.

Oluwole O. Olaomi is Chief Consultant Surgeon and Head of the National Trauma Centre at National Hospital Abuja. He is involved in surgical education and training programs, including the Trauma Fellowship in the West African sub-region. His research interests include trauma and health technology assessment. Correspondence regarding this article can also be addressed directly to: wole_olaomi@yahoo.com.

Uthman Uthman is a National Postgraduate Medical College of Nigeria Surgical Resident at National Hospital Abuja. His research interests include road traffic trauma and emergent surgical care. Correspondence regarding this article can also be addressed directly to: gigabyteuthsqr@gmail.com.

Laura D. Cassidy is a Professor and Director of the PhD Program in Public and Community Health and the Division of Epidemiology at Medical College of Wisconsin. She is also the Research Director for the college’s Institute for Health & Equity. Her research experience and interests are extensive and diverse and include pediatric trauma, bladder cancer screening, community health department evaluation, AIDS education training, radiation exposure in Russian workers, clinical outcomes, and registry development. Correspondence regarding this article can also be addressed directly to: lcassidy@mcw.edu.

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