Road traffic injuries are the leading cause of premature death in Qatar. The road traffic fatality rate in 2014 was 8 deaths per 100,000 people. This rate is not favorable when compared to several best performing countries such as the UK and Switzerland that report rates of around 3 deaths per 100,000 people. Young Qatari males are at particular risk of dying from a road traffic accident. Although there is no accurate data available showing how many drivers and passengers consistently wear seat belts, it is widely believed that low seat belt compliance is a key factor in the number of deaths due to road traffic accidents.

Mortality data shows that young Qatari males have a road safety fatality rate that is 9.3 times higher than young Qatari females and 5.75 times higher than non-Qatari males.

It should be noted that pedestrian fatalities are also of particular concern, constituting 33% of all road traffic related fatalities, compared with the global average of 22% (Figure 18)

Health implications

Not only are road traffic accidents the number one cause of premature death in Qatar, they also contribute significantly to the burden of disability on the population.

Road Safety Objectives

Law enforcement and education are identified in the objectives as a key area for development. Existing laws require all drivers and front seat passengers to wear an appropriate seat belt, but education about the life-saving benefits of wearing a seat belt is required in order for people to better understand why this is so important. The objectives also recognize the need to raise road safety awareness among young Qatari drivers, parents with young children and pedestrians.

Figure 18: Road Deaths by categories in Qatar, 2010
(Source: National Traffic Safety Committee. National Road Safety Strategy 2012-2022)

Road Safety Health Objectives

  1. RS1 Strengthen national collective action to reduce the rate of annual road traffic mortality, serious injuries and pedestrian mortality through law enforcement, education and prevention programs
  2. RS2 Develop and implement leading practice road safety educational campaigns targeting young drivers, school age students, drivers with multiple traffic violations, parents and pedestrians
  3. RS3 Strengthen leading practice regarding evaluation and re-evaluation of drivers