Risk factors contributing to road traffic crashes in a fast-developing country: the neglected health problem

Ulus Travma Acil Cerrahi Derg. 2010 Nov;16(6):497-502.


Background: The main objective of this study was to explore the patterns of road traffic crashes (RTCs) among drivers in Qatar and to examine the contributing factors involved.

Methods: This study was a cross-sectional survey conducted from February to June 2009 at the Primary Health Care Centers in the State of Qatar. A random sample of 1675 Qatari drivers were approached, and 1228 of them responded and agreed to participate in this study, with a response rate of 74.6%. Face to face interview was conducted by well-trained research assistants based on a questionnaire covering sociodemographic information, driving history, type of vehicle, driver behavior, details of crashes, and accident pattern.

Results: The study revealed that 26.6% of the studied Qatari drivers were involved in RTCs. 69.4% of the drivers with a history of RTCs were male. Drivers in the age group 25-34 years showed a higher risk of having a crash (31.2%). Drivers of cars (45.6%) and 4WD/SUVs (23.5%) were more frequently involved in RTCs. 23.5% of drivers who had RTC did not always wear their seat belt while driving. 37.9% of the drivers with RTC were engaged in eating and drinking and 41.9% were using their mobile phones while driving. More than half of the drivers with RTCs had traffic violations (57.2%), with 25.7% exceeding the speed limit. A highly significant difference was observed between the two groups (drivers with and without RTC) in terms of presence of traffic violation (<0.001) and exceeding the speed limit (<0.001). Most of the crashes happened during sunny days (84.7%) with fewer crashes on holidays (5.5%) and weekends (12.5%). Overturn skid (17.7%), angle collision (14.3%) and rear-end hit (10.7%) were the most frequently reported patterns of RTCs.

Conclusion: The study findings revealed the high risk of RTCs among drivers in the State of Qatar. Among the sociodemographic factors, male drivers and young drivers aged 25-34 years were found to have a higher accident involvement. Human behavior was identified as the main contributing factor of all RTCs, especially presence of traffic violations.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Accidents, Traffic / statistics & numerical data*
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Demography
  • Developing Countries / statistics & numerical data*
  • Educational Status
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Income
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Qatar / epidemiology
  • Risk Factors*
  • Safety
  • Seat Belts
  • Weather
  • Young Adult