A new study on motorcycle accident victims in the Philippines whose injuries necessitated hospital admission prompted researchers to advocate for legislation of laws on drunk driving in the country.
The study, the first one to be conducted on the characteristics of the motorcycle-related accident victims in the Philippines, described the average Filipino victim to be a young adult male, who does not wear a motorcyle helmet, and is under the influence of alcohol.
About 493,500 motorcycle-related accidents are reported in the Philippines each year, accounting for as much as 10% of the total cases reported in Southeast Asia. Despite the huge statistics, the World Health Organization (WHO) reported that the Philippines is the only country in the Asia Pacific that does not have a law penalizing drunk driving.
Reviewing the cases admitted to UPM-PGH’s in a span of two years, the study revealed that 88% of the patients treated for injuries at the University of the Philippines Manila – Philippine General Hospital (UPM-PGH) admitted to drunk-driving. Potentially fatal injuries on the face and jaw, as well as in the brain, are very common.
With young adult men as the most common victims, researchers explained that the burden of the injuries weighs heavily on the most economically productive, but socio-economically disadvantaged segment of the Philippine population. With the study revealing that hospitalization can commit a person to an average of 17 days, victims face sizable healthcare costs for the treatment of their injuries.
Adding that about 40% of the victims admitted at the hospital for accidents due to drunk motorcyclists are other road users, such as bicycle drivers and pedestrians, researchers argued that a drunk driving law will not only keep the safety of the drivers and passengers, but of the general public as well.
REFERENCE: Consunji, R.J., Larona, A.L.J., Jumangit, A.C., Ameratunga, S.N. (2013). Motorcycle-related Trauma in the Philippines Resulting in Hospital Admission: the Epidemiology of Cases at the Philippine General Hospital. Acta Medica Philippina, 47(3): 11-14. Retrieved from http://actamedicaphilippina.com.ph/sites/default/files/fulltexts/vol-47-no-3-motorcycle.pdf