Driver behaviour major reason behind road accidents: Survey

Road-accidents-in-Oman-rise-19.9-compared-to-2012-NCSI_muscatdaily[1]Road Accidents
Muscat Daily – By   Swapna Tarafdar   –         
December 30, 2013        
Muscat –  

An online survey has found that speed alone was not responsible for road accidents, but also other aberrant driving practices.

The survey conducted among 1,003 respondents from SQU in the age group of 19 to 58 years used a popular Driving Behaviour Questionnaire (DBQ) which had 26 questions.

Of these ten questions were about aggressive and ordinary violations, eight each were related to lapses and errors. Demographic driving experience data and crash data were also collected.

Conducted among 632 students and 371 staff at SQU, the survey found that 1,911 driving offences were issued by ROP to the respondents, and of these more than 50 per cent were responsible for at least one driving offence.

“Driving behaviour was categorised as traffic violations, errors and lapses. The highest ranked violations were honking to show annoyance for another driver, disregard for speed limits, impatience with a slow driver in the outer lane and wrong overtaking,” said Abdullah al Maniri, department of family medicine and public health, College of Medicine and Health Sciences, SQU and one of the researchers of the study, said.

Of the total driving offences, 1,132 were related to speeding.

Around 92 per cent admitted that they used cellphone while driving, while 60 per cent said that they have been involved in a road accident and 95 per cent said they were involved in accidents numbering between one and four.

Out of these 57 per cent were responsible for at least one accident, said the survey.

Maniri added, “The sample in our investigation might have been representative of the population at SQU and not necessarily the driving population of Oman.  Human errors and making deliberate violations appear as core issues that require further research. Hence, it’s not enough to teach road safety rules in schools and it has to be done at home by parents.”

Lapses were defined as absent-minded behaviours which don’t pose any threat to road users while errors were defined as failure of observations that may be hazardous to others.

Other researchers in this study included Hamed al Reesi, directorate general of health services, North Batinah governorate, Kai Plankermann and Mustafa al Hinai, SQU, Samir al Adawi, University of Regensburg in Germany and Jeremy Davey and James Freeman, Australia.

Based on the survey, a study was also published in Accident Analysis and Prevention journal in 2013