Aim The objective of this study was to determine the characteristics of road traffic injuries (RTIs) among Qatari drivers and examine the human behavioural and environmental risk factors associated in occurrence of RTIs.
Design This is a cross sectional survey.
Setting Primary Healthcare Centers in the State of Qatar.
Methods This study was conducted during the period of February–July 2009. A random sample of 1800 Qatari drivers was approached and 1406 drivers responded and agreed to participate in this study, with a response rate of 78.1%. Face to face interview was conducted by well-trained research assistants based on a questionnaire covering socio-demographic information, driving history, type of vehicle, driver behaviour, severity of injuries and nature of injuries.
Results The study revealed that of the studied Qatari drivers (1406), 14.5% of them were injured. Young drivers in the age group 25–34 years were more involved in RTIs (35.8%). The RTIs occurred more among male drivers than females with the ratio 1.7:1 (p<0.001). Overall, 53.9% of the studied Qatari drivers were injured from traffic violations, especially with exceeding speed limit (25.9%) and parking violation (18.1%). 28.4% of the injured drivers were distracted with eating or drinking and 25% using mobile phone. Qatari drivers were more injured from overturn skid crashes (20.6%) and hitting fixed objects (14.7%). Head injuries were reported more from light vehicle crashes (33.3%) and neck injuries from Pickup and SUVs crashes (44.7%). Severe injuries were reported among Qatari drivers who had heavy vehicle crashes (43.5%).
Conclusion The study findings revealed the high risk of RTIs was among young male Qatari drivers in the age group (25–34) years. It showed that human behavioural factors represent one of the main causes of RTIs such as excessive speed and using seatbelt. Head and neck injuries were reported more among Qatari drivers.
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