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)
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.