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

Author(s): Burgut, HR (Burgut, Husyin R.); Bener, A (Bener, Abdulbari); Sidahmed, H (Sidahmed, Heba); Albuz, R (Albuz, Rama); Sanya, R (Sanya, Rahima); Khan, WA (Khan, Waleed Ali) Source: ULUSAL TRAVMA VE ACIL CERRAHI DERGISI-TURKISH JOURNAL OF TRAUMA & EMERGENCY SURGERY, 16 (6): 497-502 NOV 1 2010

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. 

Author(s):  Burgut, HR (Burgut, Husyin R.); Bener, A (Bener, Abdulbari); Sidahmed, H (Sidahmed, Heba); Albuz, R (Albuz, Rama); Sanya, R (Sanya, Rahima); Khan, WA (Khan, Waleed Ali) 
Source:  ULUSAL TRAVMA VE ACIL CERRAHI DERGISI-TURKISH JOURNAL OF TRAUMA & EMERGENCY SURGERY, 16 (6): 497-502 NOV 1 2010 
Publisher:  TURKISH ASSOC TRAUMA EMERGENCY SURGERY
Addresses:  [Bener, Abdulbari] Hamad Gen Hosp, Hamad Med Corp, Dept Med Stat & Epidemiol, Doha, Qatar
Funding Agency:  This work was generously supported and funded by the Qatar National Research Fund-QNRF UREP 05-103-3-026. The authors would like to thank the Hamad Medical Corporation for their support and ethical approval. 
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