Qatar saw 572 accidents on its roads last month, a significant jump from the 397 witnessed in January, new data released by a government ministry shows.
Most of those – some 511 of them – were minor accidents. But at least 61 of them were serious, resulting in injuries and fatalities. That’s 11 more than in January, according to the Ministry of Development, Planning and Statistics’ second monthly bulletin.
In terms of road deaths, there were 13 fatal accidents in February, compared to 14 in January. However, it is unclear how many people were killed in each accident.
Meanwhile, accidents resulting in injury – but not death – totaled 48 in February, compared to 36 in the previous month. Once again, how many people were injured was not disclosed.
Lacking a year-on-year comparison, putting the statistics into context is difficult. But it’s possible that this rise in accident rates could be explained by Qatar’s continually expanding population, which went up by around 100,000 between January and February this year.
Figures for both January and February show that more than 8,000 new vehicles are currently being registered in Qatar every month, adding to the country’s traffic woes.
While detailed demographic data has not been included in the report, a separate study found that 97 percent of the 228 people who died in traffic accidents in Qatar in 2010 were men – a figure explained in part by the country’s gender imbalance, which leads to more men on the road.
A breakdown of the nationalities of the drivers involved has also not been disclosed in the statistics.
Road death ‘more likely than stroke’
A recent study concluded that Qatar residents are five times more likely to die in a vehicle crash than from a stroke – the highest ratio in the world.
Researchers at the University of Michigan’s Transportation Research Institute arrived at these findings recently after comparing the relative number of road fatalities in several countries to various other leading causes of death across the world.
Qatar was also found to have the planet’s highest ratio of motor vehicle deaths to fatal cases of heart disease.
While the results may appear alarming, the study may have been skewed by the relatively low prevalence of cancer, strokes and heart disease in this country, rather than the carnage on Qatar’s roads.
Here’s the full statistics report for February: