Research in the Region

Road traffic death and injury rates in the GCC continue to claim thousands of lives every year mainly among young males in their most productive years. These rates are among the highest in the world according to the WHO global status report published in June 2009. Shortcomings in data collection and reporting methodology in most GCC countries however, mean that the real levels of death and injury are higher than those reported.

In recent years, valuable, first-hand research compiled in hospitals and universities in the region has been published by researchers and medical professionals in scientific journals around the world. These catalogue in the starkest terms both the scale of suffering and high economic cost of road crashes for GCC governments. All call for the adoption of basic injury prevention measures coupled with enhanced legislation and consistent enforcement. A number of these studies is published here as a free online resource for researchers and practitioners alike. If you have a scientific peer-reviewed study you would like to see published, contact us.

Factors affecting anatomical region of injury, severity, and mortality for road trauma in a high-income developing country: Lessons for prevention: UAE, in press
International Journal of the care of the injured – in press
H Eid, P Barss, S Adama, F Torab Kl Lunsjo, M Grivna, F. M. Abu-Zidan

This study examines traffic injuries sustained 2003-2006 in Al Ain. The study underlines motor vehicle collisions as a major cause of head, spine, and extremity injury and death in the UAE. Head injuries are frequent among both vehicle occupants (mostly Emirati) and vulnerable road users (mostly non-citizens from low-income countries). Severity of injury to rear vehicle occupants is the same as for front occupants. The study advocates legislation and education to ensure use of seat belts by all vehicle occupants, helmets and protective clothing and traffic engineering for pedestrians.

Flying Coffins’ and Neglected Neuropsychiatric Syndromes in Oman: Oman, 2005
Sultan Qaboos Medical Journal, Vol 7 (2)
A Al-Naamani, S Al-Adawi

This study examines the nature of traumatic brain injury (TBIs) in Oman, between 42.1% and 95% of which are attributable to road traffic accidents (RTAs). The debilitating, life-long physical, emotional, and behavioural problems resulting from the TBI, the economic cost to the state of acute care and rehabilitation as well as the distress and socio-economic burden on families and caregivers, are highlighted.

Effect of seat belts legislation on hospital admissions with RTIs: Qatar, 2007
International Journal of Injury Control and Safety Promotion, Vol 14 (2)
A Bener, S Al Humoud, P Price, A Azhar, MK Khalid, M Rysavy, D Crundall

The study examines all motor vehicle crashes recorded in the period 2001–2004 and details of the crashes, injuries and safety devices used. It reveals that safety belt usage rates have increased from 8% in 2001 to 67% in 2004 among patients admitted to hospital with injury after road traffic crashes and concludes that the enforcement of the seat-belt legislation is playing a vital role in reduction of hospital admissions due to road traffic crashes.

Femoral fractures in children related to motor vehicle injuries: Qatar, 2007
Journal of Orthopedic Nursing 11
A Bener, D Justham, A Azhar, M Rysavy, F H Al-Mulla

The study investigates the incidence of injuries in particular femoral fractures in children aged from 1 to 16 years old associated with a motor vehicle accident in Qatar and finds that these are common injuries, many of which involve multiple complications.

The impact of 4WDs on road traffic disability and deaths compared to passenger deaths: UAE, 2006
JCPSP Vol 16(4)
A Bener, A Ghaffar, Abu Azab, M. Sankaran-Kutty, F. Toth and G. Lovasz

This study examines the pattern of injuries resulting from road traffic crashes involving four wheel drives (4WD) vehicles and passenger cars in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

The effect of mobile phone use on driving style and driving skills: Qatar, 2006
IJ Crash Vol 11 (4)
A Bener, T Lajunen, T Ozkan and D Haigney

This study surveys and analyses consequences of drivers’ use of mobile phones while driving and its effect on self-reported driving style and skills, reflecting tactical and strategic level processes.

Road Traffic Accidents – A Challenging Epidemic: Oman, 2006
Sultan Qaboos University Medical Journal, Vol 16 (1)
S McIlvenny

The study reviews research on seat belt wearing and injury prevention in GCC countries other than Oman against a background of Oman’s rising fatality rates from RTAs. It reports the results of a seat belt survey conducted of visitors to the University and recommends the adoption of global best practices on injury prevention strategies advocated by the World Health Organisation.

A neglected epidemic, road traffic accidents in Qatar: Qatar, 2003
International Journal of Injury Control and Safety Promotion, Vol 12 (1)
A Bener

This study explores the pattern of road traffic accidents and their causes registered in the State of Qatar in 2000 when deaths due to RTA were the third leading cause of death after the diseases of the circulatory system and cancer. The study urges the control the epidemic of RTIs through strict policy interventions, mass media and a national traffic campaign to increase the use of seat belts.

Road traffic accidents in the United Arab Emirates compared to western countries: UAE, 2005
Advances in Transportation Studies, Section A 6
A Bener and D Crundall

This study presents data concerning RTAs and road user behaviour in UAE during 2000. Careless driving and excessive speed are identified as the most important factors in RTAs and the study highlights the need to change driver behaviour through media campaigns and health education.

Strategy to improve road safety in developing countries: GCC, 2003
Saudi Medical Journal, Vol 24 (6)
A Bener, FM Abu Zidan, AK Bensiali, AA Al Mulla and KS Jadaan

This study highlights RTIs as  major cause of death and injury in GCC countries, significant data shortcomings and under-reporting, the need to develop a prevention strategy and close inter-sectoral cooperation with a leadingl role played by road engineers.

Driving behaviour, lapses, errors, and violations and their relation to road accident involvement in a new developed Arabian country: UAE, 2002
A Bener, D Crundall, D Haigney, AK Bensiali and AS Al Falasi

This study examines the factors that affect driving and tests psychometric properties in the UAE to identify how cultural and life-style characteristics are associated with high-risk driving habits in a developing Arab tribal society.