Factors associated with RTCs among for-hire three-wheeler drivers in Sri Lanka: a case–control study

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For-hire three-wheeler crashes are a growing burden in Sri Lanka. We conducted this study to examine the factors associated with road traffic crashes (RTCs) among for-hire three-wheeler drivers in Sri Lanka.


We conducted a case–control study in Kandy, Sri Lanka between August 2008 and March 2009. Cases were all the for-hire three-wheeler drivers involved in crashes in Kandy between 1 January and 31 December 2007 (n=88). Controls were non-crash-involved for-hire three-wheeler drivers in Kandy, matched to the ages of the cases (n=88). We examined participants’ sociodemographic characteristics, job characteristics, driving behaviours and the characteristics of their three wheelers. We used conditional logistic regression analysis to examine the factors associated with for-hire three-wheeler crashes.


Three factors were positively associated with for-hire three-wheeler crashes. They were as follows: taking more than three passengers in the passenger seat (adjusted OR (AOR)=8.03, 95% CI 1.16 to 55.71), higher age of the three wheelers (AOR=1.38, 95% CI 1.04 to 1.84), and being convicted by police for traffic law violations during the past 12 months (AOR=1.74, 95% CI 1.16 to 2.58).


We identified three factors that might lead to for-hire three-wheeler crashes in Sri Lanka. They were as follows: carrying excessive passengers, higher three-wheeler age and drivers’ traffic law violations. To prevent three-wheeler crashes, laws should prevent three wheelers carrying more than three passengers. Yearly examinations should be mandated to ensure proper driving conditions of for-hire three wheelers. Police should enforce traffic laws to prevent traffic law violations by three-wheeler drivers.

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