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      Road safety and road traffic accidents in Saudi Arabia : A systematic review of existing evidence

      research-article

      , FCPS, MCPS, , MD (ABCM), MSc Epi, , MSc, MD, , MD (JBFM)

      Saudi Medical Journal

      Saudi Medical Journal

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          Abstract

          Objectives:

          To identify the changing trends and crucial preventive approaches to road traffic accidents (RTAs) adopted in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) over the last 2.5 decades, and to analyze aspects previously overlooked.

          Methods:

          This systematic review was based on evidence of RTAs in KSA. All articles published during the last 25 years on road traffic accident in KSA were analyzed. This study was carried out from December 2013 to May 2014 in the Department of Family and Community Medicine, Taibah University, Al-Madinah Al-Munawwarah, KSA.

          Results:

          Road traffic accidents accounted for 83.4% of all trauma admissions in 1984-1989, and no such overall trend was studied thereafter. The most frequently injured body regions as reported in the latest studies were head and neck, followed by upper and lower extremities, which was found to be opposite to that of the studies reported earlier. Hospital data showed an 8% non-significant increase in road accident mortalities in contrast to police records of a 27% significant reduction during the years 2005-2010. Excessive speeding was the most common cause reported in all recent and past studies.

          Conclusion:

          Disparity was common in the type of reporting of RTAs, outcome measures, and possible causes over a period of 2.5 decade. All research exclusively looked into the drivers’ faults. A sentinel surveillance of road crashes should be kept in place in the secondary and tertiary care hospitals for all regions of KSA.

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          Most cited references 45

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          Causes and effects of road traffic accidents in Saudi Arabia.

          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 travelling 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.
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            Seat belt utilization in Saudi Arabia and its impact on road accident injuries.

            Most industrialized countries and many developing countries have passed laws that require the use of seat belts in motor vehicles. It is widely believed that seat belt use is an effective way to reduce road accident fatalities and injuries. Saudi Arabia joined these countries when it enacted a similar law on 5 December 2000 making seat belt use compulsory for all drivers and front-seat passengers. This study measures seat belt use rate and its impact on the number of road accident injuries during the first few months that followed the enactment of the law. It also investigates drivers' behaviour and personal characteristics and their relationship with using seat belts by using a questionnaire specially prepared for this purpose. Results show that seat belt use rate in two Riyadh suburbs were 33% and 87%, respectively, for drivers and 4% and 41%, respectively, for front-seat passengers (FSP's). Such belt use rates are considered low yet encouraging when compared with use rates before enacting the law. Results also show that there was a significant drop in certain types of injuries due to traffic accidents after the enactment of the seat belt law. Questionnaire results show that certain personal characteristics were correlated with seat belt use rate. Finally, implications of these findings in terms of future plans for improving traffic safety are discussed.
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              Global Status Reports on Road Safety 2015

              (2015)
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Saudi Med J
                Saudi Med J
                SaudiMedJ
                Saudi Medical Journal
                Saudi Medical Journal (Saudi Arabia )
                0379-5284
                1658-3175
                2015
                : 36
                : 4
                : 418-424
                Affiliations
                From the Department of Family and Community Medicine, College of Medicine, Taibah University, Al-Madinah Al-Munawwarah, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
                Author notes
                Address correspondence and reprint request to: Prof. Farah A. Mansuri, Department of Family and Community Medicine, College of Medicine, Taibah University, Al-Madinah Al-Munawwarah, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. E-mail: fmansuri10@ 123456gmail.com
                Article
                SaudiMedJ-36-418
                10.15537/smj.2015.4.10003
                4404474
                25828277
                be990026-4f1b-426e-98a8-43c17af9bdd5
                Copyright: © Saudi Medical Journal

                This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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