What every pedestrian in Qatar must know.
Today is the last day of the 2nd UN Global Road Safety Week. Here are some lesser-known facts about road accidents in Qatar that will help you stay cautious all year round.
• As a pedestrian, you are the most vulnerable road user and you will lose every confrontation with a motorised vehicle. The consequences of this are often severe lifelong disabling injuries to multiple parts of your body [head, arms, legs and spine] owing to the multiple impacts from a moving vehicle. The most simple and effective way to avoid becoming a pedestrian victim is to stay off the roads.
• Speed kills and it kills pedestrians at a higher rate than any other road user. A pedestrian struck at 32 kph [20 mph] has one-ninth the chance of dying when compared to getting struck at 48 kph [30 mph]. Getting hit by a car going faster than 75 kph is a death sentence with 100% of these victims dying at the scene.
• 71% of pedestrian fatalities die before they reach the hospital. Ambulances and emergency surgery will not help them. These deaths can only be prevented through better driver and pedestrian behavior, road lighting, enforcement of distracted driving, jaywalking and speed laws.Every year, about 80 pedestrians die in Qatar and more than 200 suffer from severe injuries. About 92% of the victims were young expatriates, mostly workers from Nepal, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. Read full report here.
• Expatriates who come from countries with an ‘opposite’ driving convention [i.e. countries that drive on the left side of the road] are at a higher risk of becoming a pedestrian victim. Watch out for them when you drive as they may not be looking in the right direction when they cross the road.
• Pedestrian safety is actually an issue of occupational health as the majority of the victims are either on their way to or from work. Some of the identified pedestrian black spots [where most pedestrians are injured] are in densely populated areas where many expat workers live and work [i.e. Industrial Area, Salwa Road and C-Ring].
• Children at great risk. One in 6 pedestrian victims was a child younger than 14 years of age. Most victims are of the ages 5 to 9. A child’s brain is only able to assess speeds and distances at or after the age of 10. Children younger than 10 should not be allowed to cross the road alone without adult supervision.
• The most risky times for pedestrians were from 6am to 9am and 3pm to 9pm on weekends. Drivers must be on the lookout for stray pedestrians during these times of low visibility and traffic congestion on our roads.
Some rules to follow on the road:
As a pedestrian
As a driver
Courtesy: Trauma section, Department of Surgery, Hamad General Hospital, Hamad Medical Corporation