Friday, January 28, 2011

Qatar and road safety

So did anyone see that semifinals thrashing of Uzbekistan by Australia 6-0. I was there, thanks to a ticket provided by an Australian friend. What a blow-out that was, the score should have been even higher. Needless to say the Australians were happy.

Moving on to road fatalities in Qatar the papers recently had the statistics for the number of road fatalities in 2009. Thankfully they also included the number of cars on the road, which allowed me to make a rough estimate of the number of deaths per 10,000 vehicles, a standard measure of road safety.

Before I continue I discussed this issue back in 6 October 2007 on this blog, here is what I had to say back then:

The newspapers recently reported that last year Qatar had 207 road fatalities, which works out to approximately 6.9 deaths per 10,000 vehicles on the road. For comparison this webpage has the deaths per 10,000 cars rate for most countries in the world for 1996, in the US the rate was 2.0, Canada's was 1.8. Thus 6.9 is pretty bad. The Government has just passed tougher laws and installed more speed cameras in an attempt to crack down but people are skeptical as to whether it will be enforced. Time will tell. I think the problem is not the laws, it is just that enforcing those laws, and punishing reckless drivers, is weak at best.

So three years later, what's the results:

226 deaths divided by the average number of vehicles on the roads (755,000-688,000 / 2 = 721,500) equals a death rate per 10,000 vehicles of 3.13, which is a substantial improvement.

But wait . . . I think something might be wrong with my original 2006 calculations. The newspaper article mentions the 2006 death rate was 270, not 207, and for the death rate to be 6.9 there would have to be only 300,000 vehicles in Qatar in 2006. I highly doubt the number of vehicles on the road has gone from 300,000 to 755,000 in four years. Time to recalculate the 2006 rate.

I could not find statistics from the traffic department for the number of vehicles on the road in 2006. If we take the percentage growth mentioned in the news article over 2010 and apply that rate back to 2006 (which I think might be a bit generous because growth stalled up a bit during the financial crisis in 2008-9) leaves the average number of vehicles during 2006 at about 497,000. That would equate to a death rate per 10,000 vehicles of 5.43, much lower than my 6.9 calculation earlier but still way higher than Western countries.

So in three years the death rate per 10,000 vehicles has gone from 5.43 to 3.13! That is excellent news and it would appear that the measures the Government was putting in place to try to reduce traffic deaths are working. Still have a ways to go though, after this article was printed an Irish colleague looked up similar statistics for Ireland and we determined its rate was 1.32. If the Qatari government could get the death rate that low it would have saved 130 lives in 2010.


Anonymous said...

Hi there,

I thought this article might interest you:

Bint Khalid

Anonymous said...

Interesting article however, do these numbers include people who die in hospital as a result of being involved in a crash. My understanding is, if you die at the scene it is classed as a fatality, but not at the hospital?

john bravon said...

Road is very danger place for human life. It is one mistake than create biggest accident for human lives. If we all follow traffic rules then it will better for us.

motor vehicle accident lawyer milwaukee