Road safety and road traffic accidents in Saudi Arabia. A systematic review of existing evidence
Objectives: To identify the changing trends and crucial preventive approaches to road traffic accidents (RTAs) adopted in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) over the last 2.5 decades, and to analyze aspects previously overlooked.
Methods: This systematic review was based on evidence of RTAs in KSA. All articles published during the last 25 years on road traffic accident in KSA were analyzed. This study was carried out from December 2013 to May 2014 in the Department of Family and Community Medicine, Taibah University, Al-Madinah Al-Munawwarah, KSA.
Results: Road traffic accidents accounted for 83.4% of all trauma admissions in 1984-1989, and no such overall trend was studied thereafter. The most frequently injured body regions as reported in the latest studies were head and neck, followed by upper and lower extremities, which was found to be opposite to that of the studies reported earlier. Hospital data showed an 8% non-significant increase in road accident mortalities in contrast to police records of a 27% significant reduction during the years 2005-2010. Excessive speeding was the most common cause reported in all recent and past studies.
Conclusion: Disparity was common in the type of reporting of RTAs, outcome measures, and possible causes over a period of 2.5 decade. All research exclusively looked into the drivers’ faults. A sentinel surveillance of road crashes should be kept in place in the secondary and tertiary care hospitals for all regions of KSA.
Saudi Med J 2015; Vol. 36 (4): 418-424
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