JEDDAH — About 7,000 people lose their lives in the Kingdom annually in traffic accidents. The accidents also cause injuries to more than 40,000 people, according to official statistics.
The accidents annually cause material losses of more than SR20 billion and lead to the occupation of about 30 percent of hospital beds. Over 88,000 deaths were caused by traffic accidents in the Kingdom during the past 20 years.
According to the traffic police reports, about 60 percent of the accidents were caused by the use of mobile phones when driving.
The reports said using smart phones while driving distracts the attention of the driver for a distance of more than 110 meters and raises the possibility of accidents by five-fold.
The traffic police said there is an average of about 20 traffic deaths every day and added that about 73 percent of those killed in traffic accidents were under 40.
The statistics said in the eastern Al-Ahsa region there were 2,885 traffic accidents during the past 28 months which killed 842 people and injured as many as 4,841.
According to the statistics, Al-Ahsa topped all the other regions in the traffic accidents by 27 percent.
Meanwhile, the director of traffic in Darma, Lt. Col. Abdul Rahman Al-Oraifi, his wife, daughter and housemaid all died in a tragic traffic accident along the Huraimila-Riyadh expressway on Sunday.
A number of traffic directors have lost their lives on the roads. They included the director of traffic in Al-Nammas region in Asir Province who died on February 4, 2014, the director of Hafr Al-Batin traffic police who died in November the same year while on road to Dammam.