Public Health Institute of the Republic of Srpska ,Banja Luka ,Bosnia and Herzegovina
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Introduction. Mental health is related to risky driving behavior and traffic accidents. The aim of this study is to investigate both social and demographic characteristics of drivers, as well as the connection between mental health and risky driving behavior among drivers in the Republic of Srpska, Bosnia and Herzegovina. Methods. The study was part of the population health survey conducted in the Republic of Srpska in 2010. The survey included 1866 households and a total of 4178 adults were interviewed (1688 drivers and 2490 non-drivers). The Chi-square test and independent samples t-test were used for data analysis. Results. Among 4178 respondents, 59.6% were non-drivers and 40.4% were drivers. There were significantly higher percentage of male drivers (73.3%), adults aged 25-54 years (66.1%), who lived in rural areas (55.3%) and were in employment (50.1%). Significantly higher percentage of drivers (58.2%) were present in the category with score values 58 to 78 on the mental distress scale, while most non-drivers were found in the category with mental distress score values 58 and lower (43.2%), p < 0.001. Also, a significantly higher percentage of non-drivers (91.5%) were found in the category with the lowest level of mental vitality (≥ 62.5), while the percentage of drivers increased in categories with higher scores on the mental vitality scale (p < 0.001). Persons driving under the influence of alcohol had lower values on the mental distress scale (p < 0.05, eta square = 0.005), while those who tended to use mobile phones while driving achieved higher scores on the mental vitality scale (p < 0.001, eta square = 0.15). Conclusion. Study results have revealed significant differences in the level of mental health between drivers and non-drivers. People who drive under the influence of alcohol have a lower level of mental health, taking into account the results on the mental distress scale, while those who use mobile phones while driving have a higher level of mental vitality. In subsequent research, it is necessary to thoroughly examine the influence of mental health on tendency towards risky driving behavior.
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