2006/09/12

Traffic Accidents in Al Ain

As Al Ain Taxi reported, the Al Ain Times has begun weekly publication (sorry, but there are no stories online at this time - I don't know if they plan on doing that at some future time).

The first week article contained had a front page story and a two page feature on traffic accidents in Al Ain that was very interesting, if a little difficult to figure out at times, as the stories frequently contradicted each other. For example, on the front page it says that a group of scholars from the UAE University "studied all 541 accidents reported to Al Ain Traffic Police during 2005", the feature's first paragraph makes the same claim, then one paragraph later says that "[t]he study ... used samples consisted of 541 roadway crashes reported by Al Ain Traffic Police which represent 90% the total number of traumatic roadway crashes that took place in Al-Ain district during the entire period of 2005" [all errors in grammar and punctuation in the original, ellipses are mine - Al Ain Times, can you please hire a copy editor?]. So there were either 541 accidents or about 601.

The most surprising figure to me was that 97% of drivers involved in accidents were male. Actually, this isn't surprising, it is nearly unbelievable. If this is right, then it means that at most 18 female drivers were involved in accidents for the entire year. So stay away from male drivers in Al Ain.

The breakdown by nationality is also given. UAE citizens were drivers in 40% of the accidents (their percentage of the Al Ain population is 32.4% [Al Ain Times 9-15 September 2006, v. 1 issue 2]), followed by Asians (Pakistanis and Indians mostly) at 35% (about 28% of the population), Arabs of other (i.e. non-GCC) nationalities at 11.4% (about the same proportion for population), and 6% for GCC citizens (about 1% of the population). No accident figures were given for Western expats, but "Europeans" (I'm guessing that this includes Americans, Canadians, Aussies, etc) are about 0.6% of the population.

The good news is that the police report that fatalities are down 13.6% in the first six months of this year, in part due to the police "awareness campaign [that] is targeting nationalities that are rated high in traffic accidents".

3 comments:

elle said...

Wasn't there a similar article in Gulf News recently? Anyway I've stopped reading anything that involves stats, as we all know they're just so off the mark. So why waste time, but if is entertainment value one's looking for then go ahead and read, it's a laugh!

al buxman said...

"The most surprising figure to me was that 97% of drivers involved in accidents were male."

Brn, why does this surprise you? I agree the statistics are no good unless taken with a large dose of salt, water and steak and kidney pie. Preferably in a dimly lit pub after 11.30 pm. Meanwhile, the best way to verify the stats would be to walk out to the road nearest you, count the first hundred vehicles and check the gender of the driver in each (I am speaking of a visual appraisal from a distance--not any other kind of verification).

If more than 3 are female, your doubts may be justified.

With regard to the nationalities of the drivers involved in accidents, comparing those percentages with their represenatation in the population is not necessarily an accurate way to go about it. Most drivers of commercial vehicles or whose profession is driving would be Indian or Pakistani--consequently the number of drivers on the road at any given time would have a much higher component from these two nationalities as opposed to their representation in the population of Al Ain (which statistic itself may be of a different period than the road accident statistics being considered).

So...fairness requires constant focus.

(Glad to see you blogging again after the move etc., I will be commenting next in the roundabout post above.)

Marcus Aurelius said...

97% male is a surprising figure and I suspect it is low.

Any insurance company will tell you males (especially the young ones) are huge risk takers and with the inshallah attitude many of the shabab have means extreme risk taking doesn't fade away until a person is older.

And when it does it menas they don't try to get their patrol on two wheels going through one of those roundabouts however it doesn't mean stopping at red lights.