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Qatar sees huge drop in traffic mortality rate

Meriam Jelliti
Qatar saw a quantum leap in road safety as it registered a significant decline in traffic fatalities and injuries compared to the previous year.
According to statistics released by General Traffic Department (GDT) on Sunday, the road accident deaths in 2019 dropped to 154, a decline of 8.3 percent as compared to 168 in 2018.
Out of these deaths, 70 (45.5%) were drivers, 40 (26%) passengers and 44 (28.6%) pedestrians. There was marked decline of 4.3% in the number of pedestrian deaths.
Qatar has recorded an accident mortality rate of 4.4 deaths per 100,000 population, which is 10.2 percent less than the last year and 75.8 percent below the world average of 18.2 deaths.
There was a 31.3 percent decline in the number of road accident deaths during the last 10 years whereas the ratio of deaths per 100,000 inhabitants decreased by 60.7 percent during the period.
The report said the intensity of traffic accidents decreased in 2019 by 16.2 percent and the traffic accident severity index decreased by 15.8 percent in the year 2019.
Head of the Statistical Analysis Office at the Ministry of Interior Brig Ibrahim Saad al Sulaiti attributed the significant improvement in traffic safety to the continuous efforts of the GDT. He said despite 4.3 percent increase in the number of vehicles and 5.5 percent in the number of driver’s licence holders, the overall number of road accidents in the country declined by 2.8 percent in 2019, while fatal accidents were less by 13 percent.
The statistics showed that 97 percent of traffic accidents recorded in 2019 was minor ones without injuries, while severe injuries were only accounted for 0.3 percent.
Of all traffic accidents, death accidents accounted for 0.1 percent only.
He said Qatar remains one of the safest countries as accident fatalities in the country remains one of the lowest in the world.
He pointed out that all of the indicators were lower than global averages, as the accident death rate for every 100,000 people in Qatar recorded 4.4 deaths, which is less than the global average of 18.2 deaths by 5.8 and also less than the rate recorded in the high income countries by 47%.
In addition the traffic death rate per 100,000 vehicles in Qatar is lower than the global average by 85.5 percent, and the traffic accident severity index in Qatar is lower than the global average by 46.7 percent.
Sulaiti lauded the efforts of the traffic safety entities, including the Traffic Department, the National Traffic Safety Committee, ambulance services, the Public Works Authority, the Ministry of Municipality and Environment and other competent institutions and agencies.
He said that most of the people who died because of traffic accidents were males amounting 91.6 percent, 8.4 percent females and almost half of the people who died in traffic accidents, at a rate of 48.1%, were between 20 to 39 years old.
The number of Qataris who died in traffic accidents reached 42, at a rate of 27.3 percent of the total traffic deaths. The figure was 6.7 percent less as compared to 2018.
The number of the deceased from the Arab nationalities recorded 31 cases (20.1 percent), while the remaining 81 deaths (52.6 percent) were of expatriates.
Major General al Kharji stressed the importance of pedestrians’ safety and considered it to be a priority.
He said the Public Works Authority (Ashghal) is implementing pedestrian crossings, tunnels and bridges, which will help reduce pedestrian accidents. Fencing of roads also compels pedestrians to cross from designated places only.