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Road Accidents: The Lived Experiences of Motorcycle Users

Bautista, B.,(1) Eduarte, L.,(2) Evaristo, R.,(3) et al.


This study is about the lived experiences of motorcycle users involved in road
accidents. The study aims to determine the reasons why motorcycle users continuously
used motorcycle, in spite road accidents. The study employs qualitative method of research
utilizing in-depth interview. Criteria are set to qualify Key Informants (KI) and Focused
Group Discussion (FGD) participants.

Findings reveals that motorcycle users prefer to buy motorcycle because of its affordability,
convenience and mobility; Common reasons why motorcycle users are involved in road
accidents are the lack of knowledge and formal training; Lack of discipline and inadequate
knowledge on road signs and traffic rules. Participants also claim that they were under the
influence of alcohol when they experience road accident; a few experienced traumas but
eventually continue to drive motorcycle.

The researchers recommends to the Land Transportation Office (LTO), an

increment on the existing penalties impose to violators. Likewise it is recommended to have
traffic enforcers visible at the main roads and highways and strict implementation of traffic
rules and regulations. Researchers strongly recommend that before Land Transportation
Office (LTO) will issue a student license, applicant must undergo a mandatory seminars and
trainings on road safety and traffic rules. Motorcycle sellers should also provide similar
training to potential buyers. Moreover, the researcher recommends conducting more
studies for the proper designation of motorcycle lane on the national roads and highways.

Keywords: Motorcycle, Motorcycle Users, Road Accidents, Motorcycle Accidents

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Introduction the highest number of users compared to

other vehicles, and followed by cars
We are all surrounded by modern having a 395,782 registered car. Same
vehicles that affect our daily living. These record from Land Transportation Office
things were made for the improvement of (LTO) indicates the number of motorcycle
our lives and make us do less while the users also increase, from 2012, 188,062,
output is higher. Modernizations of on 2013, 197,275 to 249,551 registered
technology in transportation have also motorcycles on 2014. Despite of the many
made a great impact in history of benefits brought by motorcycle to
conveyance. motorists which result to rapid growth of
people using motorcycle, it considered
Transportation is the movement riskier and more prone to accident
of people and goods from one place to because of being exposed by drivers and
another, whether in sea, air and land. A passenger/s to twice as much the risk
lot of transportation have been invented compared to other transport vehicle that
and introduce to provide the most leads to accident that causes injuries,
sufficient and efficient means of damages to property and eventually
transportation to the people. In the death. Based on the record from Metro
Philippines, jeepneys, buses, MRT, LRT, Manila Accident Recording Analysis
UV Express and tricycles are the most System (MMARAS), there is an increase in
common kinds of a transport vehicle. number of road accidents involving
motorcycle from year 2009 to 2014.
Consumers look for a kind of
vehicle that will reduce their expenses in The government and other
transportation. One of the vehicles that concerned sectors implemented policies
can answer their problem is a motorcycle. in order to minimize the volume of
A motorcycle is a two-wheeled vehicle motorcycles involve in road accidents
that can carry two to three persons which is as of now continuously
including the driver. Motorcycles are operating. The Republic Act 4136, Land
mostly used by the Filipinos because of its Transportation and Traffic Code, this law
affordability. A person with an average controls the registration and operation of
income can afford, since it is low in price motor vehicle to limit the people who
compared to other vehicles. It can also drives on the road and only give license to
transports a person in the least of time the persons who are worthy to give
that is why motorcycles became popular opportunity to drive vehicle on the road.
for many Filipinos who needs a fast, The Republic Act 10054, Motorcycle
efficient but inexpensive transport Helmet Act of 2009, this law requires all
machine. motorcycle users to wear standard
protective helmet while driving a
According to the record of Land motorcycle. Other laws are the Senate Bill
Transportation Office (2014), the most 2488 and House Bill 4462 which prohibits
prominent users of motorcycle are in the children to ride the motorcycles, the
NCR, having a 537,160 registered approved measure prohibits any person
motorcycle. Furthermore, motorcycle has to drive motorcycle with a child on board
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on public roads where there is heavy person were given two equal choices, one
volume of vehicles, high density of fast expressed in terms of possible gains and
moving vehicles or where a speed limit of the other in possible losses, people would
more than 60 kilometers per hour is choose the former. Stated differently,
imposed. A children who can wrap their people make decision on what they might
arms on the driver and their feet reaches win rather than what they might lose.
the step knot that supports the feet, are
the only eligible in riding a motorcycle. It was in 1979 when Daniel
Also the implementation of Motorcycle Kahneman along with his colleague, the
Lane Policy by Metro Manila late psychologist Amos Tversky delivered
Development Authority (MMDA) on some a paper in Econometrica by the name
area that is prone in road accidents most Prospect Theory: An Analysis of Decision
likely in Quezon City. under Risk , came up with the concept of
Prospect Theory also called as Loss-
Although many provisions and aversion theory.
policies are implemented in order to
avoid motorcycle accidents, still a "In prospect theory, loss aversion
continuous number of related accidents refers to the tendency for people to
are recorded. There are still motorcycle strongly prefer choosing gain than losses.
users who are stagnant in using It suggests people express a different
motorcycle even though they themselves degree of emotion towards gains than
have already experienced a road accident. toward losses. Individuals are more
The purpose of this study is to know the stressed by prospective losses than they
reasons of these people that continue to are happy from equal gains.
use motorcycle even after they experience
road accidents. The theory proposed that the
outcome of the decision is based on the
Theoretical Framework perceived gains than its perceived losses.
In regard to his study, the motorcycle
Motorcycle has been a trend in the users who had been experience
last five years. The number of motorcycle motorcycle accident choose to use or ride
users increases continuously as if there again a motorcycle because of the
was no danger in using it. However, as the advantages they got in using it. They
number of motorcycle users increases, continuously using motorcycle as means
the number of motorcycle users that has of transportation rather than to stop after
been involved in accidents is also the terrible experience they got in
increases. motorcycle accident. They blindly
ignoring the risk and focusing on the
A theory entitled Prospect gains and advantages in using motorcycle
Theory by Daniel Kahneman and Amos because of escalating transportation fare
Tversky (1979), states that people value and cost of living expenses of every family
gains differently from losses and, as such, which rapidly increasing.
will base decisions on perceived gains
rather than perceived losses. Thus, if a Conceptual Framework
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research of searching the core of the

According to the Prospect theory human experiences that the researchers
an individual may disregard the risk or will try to find, with regard to a
loses on their decision and focus only on phenomenon as described by the
the advantages or gains. Assumes that participants. The objective
motorcycle users are knowledgeable and phenomenological approach to qualitative
does have an idea on the risk theyre research is to depict the exact and certain
facing when using a motorcycle and the lived experiences of people and no to
advantages, the benefits and the gains create baseless theories or models of
that they get in using motorcycle. The phenomenon being studied (Creswell,
dependent variables in the study are: (1) 2009).
Advantages in using a motorcycle; (2)
Risk in using motorcycle. (3)How a Descriptive Research design was
motorcycle user values risks and also used in this study. It is a method of
advantages; and the (4) Outcomes or the fact finding study with accurate
decision they made are the independent interpretation of the data. This method
variables. These variables can be measure will be used by the researchers to
by asking semi-structured question to the interpret the information from the
subjects of the study. participants. It is mainly focused on
collecting and analyzing the findings
The relationship of how based on the lived experiences of the
motorcycle users value advantages and participants. It is also emphasizes what
risks affects the outcomes or the decision actually exist such as the current
they made, using again; discontinue the situation, practices, happenings, or any
use, after experiencing a road accident. similar phenomena (Marvel & Mendel,
Moreover, the relationship of other 2010).
variables to another was further explored.
Scope and Delimitation
Research Design
The participants of this study were from
This study uses Qualitative Approach. the vicinity of Quezon City, Philippines.
Qualitative research is a systematic They were motorcycle users who
scientific inquiry which seeks to build a experienced road accident and continuing
holistic, largely narrative, description to the use of motorcycle with 3 years or
inform the researchers understanding of more, experience in driving a motorcycle.
a social or cultural phenomenon (Astalin,
2014). McMillan and Schumacher (1993) The study contains seventeen (17)
define the qualitative research as, qualified participants, 4 participants in
primarily an inductive process of Key Informants and 13 participants in
organizing data into categories and Focus Group Discussion. The participants
identifying patterns (relationships) in the Focus Group Discussion were
among categories. clustered into three (3) groups, which
In this study, the researchers use were Clusters A, B & C. The researcher
Phenomenology. It is defined as a strategy clustered the Focus Group Discussion
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(FGD) based on the severity of the injury formulated only for the purpose of getting
they acquired in the road accidents they only the needed information for the
experienced. study. The guide questionnaire was pre-
tested to twenty-five (25) participants to
Key Informants were persons or ensure the understandability of the
officials who had knowledge and questions when asked to the subjects of
understanding on the situation of the study. After the pre-test, the results
motorcycle users and plays a significant tabulated and revised the questions that
role on the safety of motorcycle users and are slightly unclear or ambiguous. After
other road users. revising the questions, the Land
Transportation Office validated the guide
The time frame of this study is from June- questionnaire.
March, Academic year 2015-2016.
Researchers also prepared
Method Informed consent that is signed by the
participants after discussing the nature of
The In-depth interview and Semi- the study, their rights and confidentiality
Structured interviewed was used as a of the gathered data in the whole
method of data collection in the study. In- interview footage.
depth interview is a type of data
collection where the participants receive Analysis and Discussion
questions with fixed response categories.
The in-depth interview, while focused, is In the Philippines, motorcycle as a
discursive and allows the researcher and mode of transportation is very rampant
respondent latitude to explore an issue not only that, road accidents are also
within the framework of guided evident at the same time. Base on the
conversation (Crabtree, 1999). record of Metro Manila Accident
Recording and Analysis System
Galleta (2013) defined semi- (MMARAS), it shows an increase in
structured interview as a qualitative accidents involving motorcycle in Quezon
method of inquiry that combines a pre- City. They recorded 15,106 accidents on
determined set of open questions that 2009 and 113 or (0.75%) of it are fatal
prompt discussion with the opportunity accidents. In the previous year, 2014, they
for the interviewer to explore particular record 20,515 accident and 204 or
themes or responses further. It does not (0.99%) of it are fatal. Based from the
limit respondents to a set of pre- data, there is an increase of (35.80%)
determined answers. It is used to from the year 2009 to 2014.
understand how interventions work and
how they could be improved. It also Based on all the participants from
allows respondents to discuss and raise the Key Informants (K.I) and Focused
issues that you may not have considered. Group Discussion (FGD), results showed
The research instruments used in that motorcycle users preferred to buy
the study are semi-structured guide and use motorcycle because of its
questionnaire that are non-biased and affordability, convenience and
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maneuverability on road even in a heavy about traffic rules and road safety, they
traffic condition. don't had a proper training before driving
a motorcycle and lack of discipline. They
The study of Olanloye (2014), also claimed that driving under the
confirms that motorcycle users prefer influence of alcohol, aggressive driving,
motorcycle than other vehicles because: it slippery road and carelessness are some
is very cheap and affordable, low on fuel of the factors which lead on their road
consumption and low maintenance cost accident.

Another study conducted by Hsu The information underpins the

et al. (2003) stresses that: motorcycles report of National Highway Traffic Safety
are relatively small in size, giving Administration (NHTSA) the different
maneuvering flexibility and the freedom factors that cause Motorcycle Accidents
to park practically anywhere; motorcycles are the following: (1) Dangerous
have the agility and the capability to roadways cause riders to wipe out, (2)
weave through queues in congested Aggressive driving, (3) Distracted driving,
areas; the weight of a motorcycle is and (4) Drunk driving.
relatively light and able to be moved by
driver; the price of motorcycle is low and In the Philippines, Metro Manila
affordable by many people in developing Accident Recording and Analysis System
or in the low-income economies. (MMARAS, 2014) shows the top accident
causations: (1) Human Error; (2) Other;
Motorcycle users also claimed (3) Vehicle Defect.
that they do not have enough proper
precautionary measures before riding (1) Human Error is composed
motorcycle they just only wear helmet of: (a) Alcohol suspected; (b) Avoided a
and other safety gears. Do not have a Path Hole; (c) Hitting Animal; (d) Hitting
proper training on driving a motorcycle. Another Vehicle; (e) Hitting Pedestrian;
And also the sources of their knowledge (f) Moving backwards; (g) Counter-flow;
or skills in driving are mostly from: (h) Cut by another vehicle; (i) Driver
observing others and actual experiencing. Error; (j) Inattentive; (k) Lost Control; (l)
Tired/Asleep; (m) Too close to another
This is supported by the theory vehicle; (n) Over speeding.
Social Learning Theory proposed by
Albert Bandura (1971), it states that an (2) Others" is composed of:
individual can learn or acquire new (a) Driver is suffered from heart attack
pattern of behavior through direct while driving; (b) Due to scattered
experience or by observing the behavior objects; (c) Road Condition; (d) Slipped;
of others. (e) Slippery Road.

Furthermore, findings revealed (3) Vehicle Defects consist of: (a)

that the most common causes of their Bike part broke; (b) Lost brakes; (c)
involvement on road accidents are Mechanical; (d) Tire Exploded/Blown out
because they had improper knowledge Tire.
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The researchers found out that in accessories; and (j)Driving under the
spite experiencing road accidents, influence of alcohol
motorcycle users preferred to use again
motorcycle because of its said advantages The researchers also recommend
and features. Moreover, the participants traffic enforcer visibility to every
said that the main reason why they highway, especially on congested roads,
continuously using motorcycle is because and the strict implementation of traffic
it is a necessity on their job. rules and regulations.

Using a motorcycle is like The researchers recommend that

gambling, staking your life for the benefit before issuing a student license, an
that comes from using it. Prospect theory applicant, especially motorcycle users,
explains that people value gains must undergo a mandatory seminars and
differently from losses, and will base their training about the proper knowledge on
decision on what they might win rather road safety and traffic rules and
than what they might lose. (Kahneman & regulations for at least 3 days, before
Tversky, 1979) claiming his/her license. Upon
accomplishment of the program,
Recommendations applicants will receive a certificate of
accomplishment and can continue to the
The study reveals the different acquisition of student license.
problems encountered by motorcycle
users, the causes of their involvement in The researchers suggest that the
road accidents and their continuous use motorcycle dealers will provide a one (1)
of motorcycle in spite experiencing day driving lesson to their customer
accidents. The researchers formulate about the proper driving and road safety
these recommendations base on the measure.
results, these are the following:
The researchers also suggest
The researchers recommend to increasing the salary of all traffic
the authorized agencies that govern land enforcers.
transportation, such as Land
Transportation Office (LTO), to The researcher recommends
reconsider an increment on the penalties conducting more studies for the proper
in the following violations: designation of motorcycle lane on the
national roads and highways.
(a) Reckless Driving; (b)Disregarding;
(c)Traffic Sign (DTS); (d)Obstruction;
(e)Driving without Drivers license (DL);
(f)Drivers License not carried (DL); References:
(g)Expired Drivers license
(DL)/Temporary Operators Permit Afuang, B., (2008). Traffic deaths a public
(TOP); (h)Not wearing crash helmet; health crisis like AIDS. Retrieved
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