Sunday, September 21, 2014
You see the stories in the papers practically every week, big accident somewhere, people died. And so on. Everyone's very aware of the reality that is driving on Oman's roads - anyone that's spent any time here knows someone who's been in a car accident here. I spent ten minutes last night researching accidents statistics and I found this website which has statistics for Oman going back until the 90's.

I made this table last night and am sharing it here as a lasting record of statistics for Oman should for some reason anyone googling for it want it. And also because I'm geeky I made a few graphs and statistics from the data.

So lets put this into graph format to make it a little clearer, first up the number of deaths as a result of car accidents between 1998 and 2013:

And then the number of accidents and injuries in the same period:

Of course, over the last decade, the population of Oman has soared, and by extension, the number of vehicles on the roads has increased, and so it's obvious there would be an increase in accidents. I don't have access to total numbers of vehicles on the roads, but the population in 2003 was 2,340,815 people, which meant 0.000247% of the population died in a car accident in 2003, conversely in 2012 the population was 3,831,553 which meant that 0.000297% of the population died in a car accident - so the fatality ratio is rising too.

In 1998, someone died on the roads in Oman every 14.27 hours, in 2012 it was every 7.69 hours, and in 2013 it was every 9.59 hours. Also in 2013, someone got injured on Oman's roads (in a reported accident) every 48.66 minutes, and there was an accident every 67.14 minutes. For a country with a population of about 4 million, that seems quite a lot - I don't know for sure though.

The one thing that I continue to see that really takes my breath away though is this: Parents sitting in their cars with their seatbelts on, and their kids literally running around the cars, sitting on the drivers lap, sitting in the front seat (just sitting, not belted in) sticking their heads out of sun-roofs or windows... the list goes on. This weekend I saw a driver of a new VW GTI at a traffic light, he was all belted in, his kid was sitting on the front passenger seat, facing the chair with no seatbelt at all, the kid looked like it was about 2 years old. If you can afford a RO 13,000 car, you can afford a RO 20 car seat, and hopefully have the brains to turn the front passenger airbag off if your 2 year old child is sitting there (not that they should be anyway).

What is wrong with these people? Are they lazy, or just really, really stupid? It is time the ROP gets tough on this and laws are drafted to force people to use car seats for children - but it's up to the Government to enact the laws that the ROP can enforce. It blows my mind that this has not been done yet.

I'm not going to turn this into a rant, mostly aimed at taxi and Lexus drivers, and so will leave it at that, but really - why will the authorities not bring into force legislation requiring people to safely secure their children in vehicles? What is the reason for this?

le fin.


Anonymous said...

Let ROP start naming and shaming the offenders. You can see many people talking on their Mobile phone while driving. ROP may be catching and fining few of them. But majority road users don’t know about it. So let them publish their names in the newspapers or spread them on Whatsup and see the difference.

Anonymous said...

Le Freddie,

The response to this is one of economics. As you know there are only a select handle that are wealthy enough to have the capacity to have larger vehicles that accommodate their large families. Oman just isn't Muscat the marjority of locals don't have the money to buy cars big enough for their kids and family to travel safely. That's why seat belts in the back are not mandatory. We have all seen 8 or more kids in the back of cars and babies on dash boards.

Sad but true.

Anonymous said...

This link shows over 800k vehicles registered by 2010. However I have since seen in the last few months that vehicle count has exceeded 1 million.

Anonymous said...


What I dont get is the need to speed? What is so urgent anyways that can't wait?
I did once an experiment on my daily drive to work from darsayt to sifah. By increasing speed on the hairpin roads by 20 kmph thereby reaching a uncontrollable speed of 100 kmph, we were able to get to work 10 minutes earlier. At the end, we decided it was just not worth speeding at all.go figure!

Anonymous said...

To the second Anonymous. Your comment that Omanis can't afford vehicles to accommodate their families is horse-shit.
If you have 8 kids you can get a Hiace van for the same price as a Prado and easily get all your kids in plus extra space.
Money is not the issue- ignorance is.

Anonymous said...

Arrogance mate arrogance. Many may be texting or talking while driving slowly on the speed track. Try and overtake them, seeing that he or she will drive so fast as if something has possessed them.

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