Car accidents kill over 9,000 people in 2016


JEDDAH: Car accidents in 2016 killed 9,031 people, 12 percent of the total number of the 70,000 fatalities in the Kingdom in that year, with an average of over 25 deaths a day and one death an hour. The rate of increase is the highest since 2007.
The number of accidents in the same year increased by 2.8 percent compared to 2015 – from 518,000 to 533,000 – causing over 38,000 injuries with an average of 4.5 injuries an hour and 103 injuries a day, according to Aleqtisadiah newspaper report based on the data of the General Authority for Statistics and the Ministry of Municipal and Rural Affairs.
Between 2006 and 2016, 78,487 people died from car accidents, constituting 12 percent of deaths in the kingdom in the same period.
However, since the implementation of the automated Saher system in 2010, a drop of more than a 37 percent in deaths rate caused by traffic accidents was recorded, according to a study by the Riyadh-based King Abdullah International Medical Research Center (KAIMRC).
“The introduction of Saher system has reduced the severity of traffic accident injuries by 20 percent and mortality rate by 37.8 percent,” said Sulaiman Al-Ghannam, principal investigator, while giving details of the new study.
The drop in road fatalities is the result of recent efforts of the Saudi government to improve urban mobility by investing in safe infrastructure including Saher system. Al-Ghannam said: “The motive for such studies is to evaluate laws aimed at traffic safety and provide evidence of their effectiveness. Motor vehicle accidents constitute 53 percent of the total injuries, causing 17 deaths a day, costing SR55 billion annually.”
He said that the study “provided evidence of relationship between implementing the Saher system and reducing the severity of injuries and the mortality rate due to traffic accidents.”
He added the study was based on the admission of traffic victims to different health facilities including the emergency ward of the King Fahad Hospital, King Abdulaziz Medical City and the Ministry of National Guard — Health Affairs facilities.
Al-Ghannam pointed out that due to the need to reduce the traffic accidents, KAIMRC established the first injury record in the Kingdom under the supervision of Ibrahim Al-Babtain to be the leading reference in the Gulf region for research in this field.
He also noted that King Abdulaziz City of Science and Technology (KACST) provides support for the program to manage and record injuries systematically. The Saher system has been implemented globally and has consistently reduced the mortality rate with 25 percent in average.