Qatar saw a 15 percent increase in injuries resulting from road accidents last year, new Qatar Statistics Authority figures show.
That’s almost double the number it saw in 2007, reflecting the increasing seriousness of the perils of driving in Qatar and the urgent need to address traffic safety issues here.
QSA, which released the figures to mark the recent World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Accidents, states:
Casualties resulting from road accidents constitute a heavy burden on a country’s economy due to the direct effects on health care and rehabilitation services as well as indirect costs. They may also exert considerable financial pressures on affected families, which often have to bear medical costs, rehabilitation and burial expenses as well as costs such as those arising from income expense and considerable psychological stress.
Some 5,424 road accidents in 2011 resulted in deaths and injuries, compared to 4,723 such incidents in 2010. The number is expected to continue as Qatar’s population continues to grow and more cars are added to Doha’s roads.
However, the number of deaths from traffic accidents fell from 228 in 2010 to 205 last year (some 10 percent), according to the Annual Statistical Abstract concerning Judicial and Security Services 2011.
That jives with an earlier assertion from the National Committee for Traffic Safety that fatal road accidents fell in 2011 from 2010.
Still, last year’s jump follows a 160 percent increase in traffic accidents between 2000 and 2010.
The government is expected to announce a 10-year road safety plan to tackle road safety problems and the Ministry of Interior is currently conducting a public survey on the issue.
But it is not clear how long it will take for the results of the survey, which tackles traffic jams, car accidents, and pedestrian protection and asks residents how they think roads can be improved, to have an impact.
Read the full QSA report here:
Credit: Photo by Hani Arif; data for chart courtesy of QSA