Risky Driving Behaviours among Medical Students in Erbil, Iraq

Nazar P. Shabila, Kamaran H. Ismail, Abubakir M. Saleh, Tariq S. Al-Hadithi


Objectives: This study aimed to assess risky driving behaviours among medical students in Erbil, Iraq, and to explore the relationship between risky driving behaviours and perceptions of risky driving. Methods: This self-administered questionnaire-based survey was conducted from January to May 2014 among a random sample of 400 medical students at Hawler Medical University in Erbil. The questionnaire was designed to assess the frequency of engagement in 21 risky driving behaviours, the perceived risk of each behaviour and the preference for each behaviour as ranked on a 5-point scale. Results: A total of 386 students responded to the survey (response rate: 96.5%). Of these, 211 reported that they currently drove a vehicle (54.7%). Drivers most frequently engaged in the following behaviours: playing loud music (35.9%), speeding (30.4%), allowing front seat passengers to not wear seat belts (27.9%) and using mobile phones (27.7%). Least frequent driving behaviours included not stopping at a red light (3.9%), driving while sleepy (4.4%), driving after a mild to moderate intake of alcohol (4.5%) and drunk driving (6.4%). Mean risky driving behaviour scores were significantly higher among males (P <0.001) and those who owned a car (P = 0.002). The mean risk perception score was higher among >20-year-olds (P = 0.028). There was a significant positive relationship between the preference for risky behaviours and risky driving behaviours (beta = 0.44; P <0.001). Conclusion: Medical students in Erbil reported high frequencies of several serious risky driving behaviours. The preference for risky behaviours was found to be an important predictor of risky driving behaviours among medical students in Erbil.


Medical Students; Automobile Driving; Risk-Taking; Perception; Risk Assessment; Iraq.

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Sultan Qaboos University Medical Journal, College of Medicine and Health Sciences, Sultan Qaboos University, PO Box 35, Postal Code 123, Al-Khod, Muscat, Oman

ISSN (Print edition): 2075-051X ISSN (Internet edition): 2075-0528

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