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Accident in Saudi Arabia

An average of 17 Saudi Arabian residents die on the country's roads each day, a report by the Kingdom's General Directorate of Traffic has revealed. The news comes after the World Health Organization found Saudi Arabia to have the world's highest number of deaths from road accidents, which now make up the country's principal cause of death in adult males aged 16 to 36. First reported by the Saudi daily Arab News, the study found that 6,485 people had died and more than 36,000 were injured in over 485,000 traffic accidents during 2008 and 2009.

There was no official reaction to the unfortunate world record, and Saudi analysts pointed to larger underlying problems.
"The driving problems are with young people," Ali Abdul-Rahman Al-Mazyad, a Saudi columnist in Riyadh told The Media Line. "There are very little outlets for young people to enjoy themselves and kids basically do what they want."
"There is also not such great education in schools about driving and respecting the road," he said. "Drug use is also a contributing factor. These are the central problems."

The report found that almost a third of traffic accidents in the Saudi capital Riyadh were due to drivers jumping red lights, followed by 18 percent of accidents caused by illegal U-turns. The most common dangerous driving activities were speeding, sudden stops and speaking on the phone while driving.

Over the past two decades Saudi Arabia has recorded 4 million traffic accidents, leading to 86,000 deaths and 611,000 injuries, 7 percent of which resulted in permanent disabilities.
A recent study at the King Abdul Aziz City for Science and Technology (KACST), a Riyadh-based scientific research group, warned that if the current rise in road accident rates is not curbed, Saudi Arabia will have over 4 million traffic accidents a year by 2030.

Silvio Saadi, a Jeddah-based businessman and film producer, argued that both the government and an out-of-control youth culture were to blame.

"You won't believe what you see," he told The Media Line. "It's just crazy."

"Saudis often try to drift with normal cars and thousands of spectators on the sides of the street," he said, referring to an informal motor sport in which drivers intentionally over-steer so as to lose traction and drift on the road. "Sometimes the car drifts into the spectators, slamming them into buildings along the sidewalk."
Saadi said that while the government has made some initiatives, they have fallen short of an aggressive road safety campaign.

"Outside the city, the police often cannot stop them," he said. "The police are actually scared because there can be thousands of them. A few years ago they built a Jeddah raceway to attract young people to do it on the track instead of on the streets, but people still like to do it the old fashioned Bedouin way."

"We get approached every year by government departments to produce public service announcements about speeding but most of the time nothing comes of it," Saadi added. "Who knows what happens, but there is a lot of corruption. They probably take budgets from the government to do public service announcements and then don't do it."

In Saudi Arabia the motor vehicle is the main means of transportation. Between 1971 and 1997; 564,762 people died or were injured in road traffic accidents, a figure equivalent to 3.5% of the total population in Saudi Arabia. During this period 66,914 people have died on the roads in Saudi Arabia due to road accidents, amounting to one person killed and four injured every hour. Over 65% of accidents occur because of vehicles traveling at excess speed and/or drivers disobeying traffic signals. Of deaths in Ministry of Health hospitals, 81% are due to road traffic accidents and 20% of their beds are occupied by traffic accidents victims. Also, 79.2% of patients admitted to Riyadh Armed Forces Hospital with spinal injuries has sustained their injuries as a result of a motor vehicle accident. We recommend compulsory use of safety seat belts in vehicles and the setting up of a new database to collect, store and analyse information relating to the road traffic accidents (Ahkdar, Mandoorah, and Moutaery, 2000).

Riyadh, Asharq Al-Awsat-Traffic reports and studies presented by Saudi universities and local traffic departments reveal that women cause around 50% of traffic accidents, despite not being allowed to drive.

According to the studies, reasons behind road accidents involving women are usually caused by their lack of knowledge of road traffic rule and regulations. Some actions include opening the car door without paying attention to on-coming traffic is common. Marital quarrels are another main although overlooked reason.

Official statistics indicate that nearly 65,000 deaths and 50,000 injuries resulted from 800,000 accidents during the years from 1971 to 1995. Comparatively high, recent statistics show 1.5 million accidents during the last thirty years.
The studies also show that 78 % of victims are less than 45 years of age. Moreover, statistics provided by the Ministry of

Health refer to the fact that one fifth of these numbers are kids under the age of 15.
hit and run accidents are a major problem in Saudi Arabia especially inside cities and neighborhoods, outside schools and shopping centers where traffic statistics record more than 7 thousand accidents with people run over by cars each year (Al-Safouqi, 2005).

Apr. 23--JEDDAH -- At least 16 people a day die in traffic accidents in Saudi Arabia, according to Health Minister Dr Abdullah
Al Rabeeah.

Quoting a fresh report issued by the administration of hospitals, which functions under the health ministry, Al Rabeeah said on Wednesday that about 6,000 people die in the kingdom every year due to traffic accidents.

More than 275,000 men, women and children are injured annually as a result of accidents across the kingdom, Al Rabeeah said, adding that the huge number of road accident victims was putting pressure on government hospitals.
The former chairman of the National Traffic Safety Committee Ali Al Ghamdi, said about a third of all beds in government hospitals are occupied by road accident victims. He estimated the annual cost of road accidents at about SR26 billion, equal to four per cent of the country's gross domestic product.

According to a paper presented at a forum on national road traffic safety in 2009, there were 4.3 million road accidents during 1989 to 2008 in the kingdom, resulting in over 86,500 deaths and more than 610,000 injuries.
Reckless driving is the cause of about 60 per cent of accidents in the country while speeding through a red light causes 34 per cent of accidents.

Al Rabeeah emphasised the importance of the recently introduced electronic 'Saher' system for the automatic detection of traffic violations, saying that it would play a big role in safeguarding the lives of Saudis and citizens from reckless drivers.
"The fall in road accidents will have a positive impact on public health facilities in the country," he said.

Apr. 3--RIYADH -- There are growing calls for crash-avoidance technologies to help counteract the growing number of road accidents in the Arab world, especially Saudi Arabia. About 485,000 traffic accidents occurred in the Kingdom last year, killing 6,485 people and leaving government agencies with an uphill task to reduce the number of accidents and deaths.
"These alarming trends prompted the Bosch Group to launch crash avoidance systems that will make a significant contribution to minimizing road injuries and deaths in the Kingdom and the region as a whole," said Volker Bischoff, general manager of Bosch Middle East, in Riyadh.

"We hope that innovative technologies we have used in these products will raise safety standards in the region's automobile industry," he added.

Bischoff said that road accidents had emerged as one of the leading causes of death in Saudi Arabia and the Gulf states.
On a global level, road accidents cost governments an estimated $518 billion, which creates a burden on the economy and work force according a report released by the World Health Organization.
"Reaction speed and the type of evasive action taken are critical to avoiding road accidents, but in many cases the driver does not react properly," Bischoff added.

He said that Arab countries continue to pursue effective solutions to bring down the number of fatalities.
The Arab region sees around 40,000 road-related deaths annually, with youths the victims of 60 percent of such incidents, according to the Arab Organization for Road Safety.

Solution Preview

An average of 17 Saudi Arabian residents die on the country's roads each day, a report by the Kingdom's General Directorate of Traffic has revealed. The news comes after the World Health Organization found Saudi Arabia to have the world's highest number of deaths from road accidents, which now make up the country's principal cause of death in adult males aged 16 to 36. First reported by the Saudi daily Arab News, the study found that 6,485 people had died and more than 36,000 were injured in over 485,000 traffic accidents during 2008 and 2009.

There was no official reaction to the unfortunate world record, and Saudi analysts pointed to larger underlying problems.
"The driving problems are with young people," Ali Abdul-Rahman Al-Mazyad, a Saudi columnist in Riyadh told The Media Line. "There are very little outlets for young people to enjoy themselves and kids basically do what they want."
"There is also not such great education in schools about driving and respecting the road," he said. "Drug use is also a contributing factor. These are the central problems."

The report found that almost a third of traffic accidents in the Saudi capital Riyadh were due to drivers jumping red lights, followed by 18 percent of accidents caused by illegal U-turns. The most common dangerous driving activities were speeding, sudden stops and speaking on the phone while driving.

Over the past two decades Saudi Arabia has recorded 4 million traffic accidents, leading to 86,000 deaths and 611,000 injuries, 7 percent of which resulted in permanent disabilities.
A recent study at the King Abdul Aziz City for Science and Technology (KACST), a Riyadh-based scientific research group, warned that if the current rise in road accident rates is not curbed, Saudi Arabia will have over 4 million traffic accidents a year by 2030.

Silvio Saadi, a Jeddah-based businessman and film producer, argued that both the government and an out-of-control youth culture were to blame.

"You won't believe what you see," he told The Media Line. "It's just crazy."

"Saudis often try to drift with normal cars and thousands of spectators on the sides of the street," he said, referring to an informal motor sport in which drivers intentionally over-steer so as to lose traction and drift on the road. "Sometimes the car drifts into the spectators, slamming them into buildings along the sidewalk."
Saadi said that while the government has made some initiatives, they have fallen short of an aggressive road safety campaign.

"Outside the city, the police often cannot stop them," he said. "The police are actually scared because there can be thousands of them. A few years ago they built a Jeddah raceway to attract young people to do it on the track instead of on the streets, but people still like to do it the old fashioned Bedouin way."

"We get approached every year by government departments to produce public service announcements about speeding but most of the time nothing comes of it," Saadi added. "Who knows what happens, but there is a lot of corruption. They probably take budgets from the government to do public service announcements and then don't do it."

In Saudi Arabia the motor vehicle is the main means of transportation. Between 1971 and 1997; 564,762 people died or were injured in road traffic accidents, a figure equivalent to 3.5% of the total population in Saudi Arabia. During this period 66,914 people have died on the roads in Saudi Arabia due to road accidents, amounting to one person killed and four injured every hour. Over 65% of accidents occur because of vehicles traveling at excess speed and/or drivers disobeying traffic signals. Of deaths in Ministry of Health hospitals, 81% are due to road traffic accidents and 20% of their beds are occupied by traffic accidents victims. Also, 79.2% of patients admitted to Riyadh Armed Forces Hospital with spinal injuries has sustained their injuries as a result of a motor vehicle accident. We recommend compulsory use of safety seat belts in vehicles and the setting up of a new database to collect, store and analyse information relating to the road traffic accidents (Ahkdar, Mandoorah, and Moutaery, 2000).

Riyadh, Asharq Al-Awsat-Traffic reports and studies presented by Saudi universities and local traffic departments reveal that women cause around 50% of traffic accidents, despite not being allowed to drive.

According to the studies, reasons behind road accidents involving women are usually caused by their lack of knowledge of road traffic rule and regulations. Some actions include opening the car door without paying attention to on-coming traffic is common. Marital quarrels are another main although overlooked reason.

Official statistics indicate that nearly 65,000 deaths and 50,000 injuries resulted from 800,000 accidents during the years from 1971 to 1995. Comparatively high, recent statistics show 1.5 million accidents during the last thirty years.
The studies also show that 78 % of victims are less than 45 years of age. Moreover, statistics provided by the Ministry of

Health refer to the fact that one fifth of these numbers are kids under the age of 15.
hit and run accidents are a major problem in Saudi Arabia especially inside cities and neighborhoods, outside schools and shopping centers where traffic statistics record more than 7 thousand accidents with people run over by cars each year (Al-Safouqi, 2005).

Apr. 23--JEDDAH -- At least 16 people a day die in traffic accidents in Saudi Arabia, according to Health Minister Dr Abdullah
Al Rabeeah.

Quoting a fresh report issued by the administration of hospitals, which functions under the health ministry, Al Rabeeah said on Wednesday that about 6,000 people die in the kingdom every year due to traffic accidents.

More than 275,000 men, women and children are injured annually as a result of accidents across the kingdom, Al Rabeeah said, adding that the huge number of road accident victims was putting pressure on government hospitals.
The former chairman of the National Traffic Safety Committee Ali Al Ghamdi, said about a third of all beds in government hospitals are occupied by road accident victims. He estimated the annual cost of road accidents at about SR26 billion, equal to four per cent of the country's gross domestic product.

According to a paper presented at a forum on national road traffic safety in 2009, there were 4.3 million road accidents during 1989 to 2008 in the kingdom, resulting in over 86,500 deaths and more than 610,000 injuries.
Reckless driving is the cause of about 60 per ...

Solution Summary

An average of 17 Saudi Arabian residents die on the country's roads each day, a report by the Kingdom's General Directorate of Traffic has revealed. The news comes after the World Health Organization found Saudi Arabia to have the world's highest number of deaths from road accidents, which now make up the country's principal cause of death in adult males aged 16 to 36. First reported by the Saudi daily Arab News, the study found that 6,485 people had died and more than 36,000 were injured in over 485,000 traffic accidents during 2008 and 2009.

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