Thursday, January 15, 2009

Car Accidents

Make no mistake, driving in the Arab world is dangerous and accidents are endemic. It is unfortunate and it is true; the GCC has the worst per capita ratio of road deaths record in the world. Someone once told me there had been 23,000 deaths on the roads in the Arab world in 2004 (this figure includes all countries in North Africa and the Levant).

The GCC 'grim reaper' death league table look something like this:

1. Oman; 23 deaths for each 100,000 people, in the country each year
2. Saudi Arabia; 21 deaths per 100,000
3. The UAE; 20 deaths per 100,000

To put this in some kind of grissly comparison with the rest of the world, most of Europe has a death rate of less than 3 per 100,000; the USA has approx. 2 deaths per 100,000 and Japan has 1.5 deaths each year per 100,000 population.

This translates into about 30 people in the UAE being injured by a traffic accident every day and by this time next week, two people who now live in the UAE will be dead.

Reasons for Car Accidents
For this particular blog I choose to quote another blogger: ~unfortnately the link no longer seems to work:

“Al-Eqtisadiah newspaper conducted a study and found two basic reasons for accidents. The first, behind 84 percent of traffic accidents, is the driver’s behaviour when he gets behind the wheel. Drivers are reckless and, if they are aware of rules and regulations, choose not to follow them. High speed is also a problem with many drivers claiming to be unaware of speed limits. As they say themselves, 84%of accidents are caused by driver behaviour. So that makes 16% caused by bad roads. So they quote the 16% rather than the 84%, we Saudis don't like ‘losing face’ {see wgaw future blog archive: }. But let's face it, when it comes to reckless and dangerous driving, we are the World Champions.”

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