A multifaceted analysis of driver behaviour and its impact on road safety in urban areas of Kampala
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In urban regions all around the world, road safety is a major problem, and Kampala, the capital of Uganda, is no exception. This study explores the complex interplay between driver behaviour and traffic safety in the particular setting of Kampala. It aims to shed light on the prevalence and frequency of various risky driving behaviours, as well as the internal and external factors/triggers that prompt these behaviours and their implications for road safety, by taking a multidimensional approach. 101 drivers that made up the study's sample responded to the questionnaire that the researcher provided to them and the collected responses were analysed using SPSS and a variety of analysis techniques, including univariate analysis, bivariate analysis, where Spearman's rank correlation was used to determine the correlation between the variables, and additionally, binary logistic regression analysis to ascertain whether the study's driver behaviours are significant predictors of the road accidents that Kampala drivers observed or experienced. The findings revealed a number of unsafe driving practices that are prevalent among Kampala drivers, including aggressive driving, traffic law infractions, and safety disregard. Both internal and external factors, such as the quality of the road infrastructure, negligent attitude towards road safety and lenient/lax law enforcement procedures, were found to have a substantial impact on observed driving behaviours. The study investigated three hypotheses; Hypothesis 1 proposed that better road infrastructure causes a decrease in traffic accidents. The results confirmed this hypothesis, showing the need of making improvements to the road infrastructure as a way to improve traffic safety. The second hypothesis postulated a significant relationship between drivers' adherence to traffic safety laws and the effectiveness of traffic law enforcement. The study's findings supported this hypothesis, highlighting the necessity of strict traffic rule enforcement to promote safer driving practices. The third hypothesis postulated a correlation between safer driving practices and supportive social norms and attitudes towards traffic safety. The findings strongly supported this theory and highlighted how social attitudes and norms influence safer driving behaviours. These findings offer valuable insights for policymakers and stakeholders and underscore the need for a multifaceted approach to road safety in urban areas of Uganda, focusing on infrastructure, enforcement, driver education initiatives to improve driver skills and social norms.