Strategy to improve road safety in developing countries

Abdulbari Bener, Fikri M. Abu-Zidan, Abdel K. Bensiali, Ahmad A. Al-Mulla, Khair S. Jadaan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

75 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: To review the road safety situation in developed and developing countries compared with the Arabian Gulf countries and suggest a strategy to improve it. The role of road engineers in reducing accidents is highlighted. Methods: This is a retrospective study of road traffic accidents (RTAS) for a period from 1988 to 1998 in Arabian Gulf Countries. The data was taken from the Directorate of Traffic and Ministry of Health records in Gulf Countries. Additional data was obtained from other sources including the World Health Organizations Statistics Annuals, International Road Federation, Transport Road Research Laboratory and accident facts publications. Overall fatality and injury rates of RTAs were calculated. Results: The lack of reliable data is a serious problem in most of the developing countries. It is quite reasonable to assume that the incidence of accidents is much larger than actually reported. A comparison of vehicle ownership levels and safety parameters in both developed and developing countries is presented to highlight the relative seriousness of the road safety situation in different countries. The fatality rates (per population and per vehicles) are selected for comparison purposes from developed and developing countries. Conclusion: Road traffic accidents continue to be a major cause of mortality and morbidity in the Arabian Gulf Countries leading to substantial wastage of life and national resources. Further investigation is essential and will require close inter-sectoral collaboration between, traffic police, health, law, and transport authorities. Developing a research strategy for prevention will reduce casualties and death on the road.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)603-608
Number of pages6
JournalSaudi Medical Journal
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 1 2003

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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