Public awareness campaigns and increased traffic law enforcement have led to 40% drop in total number of deaths from road traffic injuries during this year’s holy month of Ramadan compared to 2013, according to Hamad Injury Prevention Program’s analysis of Hamad Medical Corporation’s (HMC) mortuary and trauma registry data.

Head of Trauma Surgery at HGH Level I Trauma Center, Dr Hassan Al Thani, said:

The 40% reduction in road deaths this Ramadan means that 12 lives were saved and 12 families were able to fully enjoy the holy month together. It is especially encouraging that there were very significant reductions in deaths among children and young Qatari men. The results show that families can play an important role in protecting these groups who are at the highest risk of dying from road traffic accidents.’

The Hamad Injury Prevention Program (HIPP) is the community outreach arm of Hamad General Hospital’s (HGH) Trauma Surgery Section.

Other key findings by the HIPP include:

  • 73% reduction in deaths among young road users (aged 30 and below)
  • 68%t reduction in pre-hospital deaths or deaths occurring before the victim reaches the hospital
  • 64% reduction in deaths among young male Qataris
  • 64% reduction in deaths among children (18 and below)

During the holy month of Ramadan this year, HMC’s Trauma Center, HGH senior management team and other key stakeholders in public health and road safety, embarked on campaigns to increase public awareness of the importance of safe road practices. Dr Al Thani said:

If parents continue to serve as role models for our younger road users, by always wearing their seatbelts, not using their mobile phones while driving, and following road traffic rules which are designed to ensure road safety, then we will see sustained reductions in the number of road deaths in Qatar well beyond Ramadan.’

Dr. Rafael Consunji, Director of the HIPP said:

A combination of improved road engineering, the timely arrival of pre-hospital care and the reduced severity of the crashes are recognised as key external factors in the reduction of pre-hospital road deaths.’

There are many proven means to prevent serious injuries while using the road as a driver, passenger, cyclist or pedestrian and undoubtedly many of these were the reason for the dramatic reduction in road deaths. What is most important is that this year’s Ramadan was safer than last year. We must all continue to work together to promote and sustain a safer road environment for all road users in Qatar.’

He stressed that driving within speed limits, always wearing a seatbelt, using properly inflated tires and not driving while distracted by mobile phone, are all personal practices proven to reduce the risk of being involved in a severe car crash.