Traffic accidents kill six, injure 40 daily [Archives:2007/1012/Front Page]

January 1 2007

SANA'A, Dec. 30 ) Over the past two weeks, traffic accidents have killed 43, critically injured 132 and slightly injured 69 others, according to a Ministry of Interior report released late last week.

Additionally, the report noted that such traffic accidents were varied, including 111 crashes, 69 instances involving running over, 28 vehicle rollovers and three instances of vehicles falling down a steep embankment. Accidents resulted from recklessness and vehicular technical faults, with total estimated losses of YR 17.6 million.

Ministry of Interior reports for November revealed that traffic accidents either claimed the lives of or injured more than 1,450 individuals.

Sources told last week that, “There were 780 traffic accidents registered nationwide in November, distributed among car and motorbike crashes, rollovers and incidents involving running over.”

The same source went on to say that these accidents resulted in killing 206 individuals of both sexes and all age groups and seriously injuring 1,250 others, together with massive material losses.

Such accidents primarily were attributed to reckless speed, non-adherence to traffic rules or safety principles and lack of technical maintenance or observation of cars and vehicles.

According to the same source, 6,425 accidents were recorded nationwide between January and November, resulting in the death of 2,180 and injuring 11,000 others, together with material losses estimated at hundreds of millions of Yemeni riyals.

In its report last week, the Ministry of Interior considered traffic accidents among the most dangerous incidents, leaving behind economic, social and health effects. Most individuals have lost a relative, friend or a dear one in such accidents across Yemen; however, one rarely encounters those who've lost friends or relatives due to epidemic diseases like malaria or tuberculosis.

Official figures for traffic accidents since 2000 reveal the volume of economic and social impacts left by such accidents, which require firm and serious efforts in facing them.

Distressing numbers, harm to others

Over the past few years, recorded traffic accidents reached 79,245, averaging 31.4 accidents daily. Incidents involving death amounted to 15,279, with six deaths per day; while the total injuries reached 96,800, ranging from serious to moderate to minor, with an average of 38.4 cases a day.

Material losses were estimated at YR 12.6 billion, averaging YR 5.02 million daily.

According to the report, such numbers don't include accidents in rural areas, about which concerned authorities weren't informed.

Further, estimated losses don't include victims' hospitalization or medication fees, which relatives pay to hospitals or other concerned parties upon the victim's death. Estimates also didn't cover psychological effects upon victims and their families ensuing from coping with or hearing about such tragedies.

Safety tips

The Ministry of Interior report implored people to test their tires before driving, wear seatbelts to minimize risks from accidents, adjust headrests to avoid serious head and neck injuries and use special seats for children to reduce their volume of death risks.

Soaring statistics

Figures released by Al-Thawra Public Hospital in Sana'a reveal that 80 percent of patients are hospitalized due to traffic accidents. According to hospital emergency doctors, the volume of incidents multiplies with non-adherence to traffic rules, mostly due to breakneck speeds and not wearing seatbelts.

The General Traffic Administration has requested including not wearing seatbelts among traffic violations, which request was forwarded to the Interior Ministry for referral to the Yemeni Cabinet to give its word on it and urge the use of seatbelts to avoid risks and tragedies resulting from minor accidents.