Volume 2012, Issue 1
  • ISSN: 1999-7086
  • E-ISSN: 1999-7094


Traffic accidents resulting from the collision of motor vehicles with wildlife occur worldwide. In the United States, Canada, Europe, the Middle East and Australia these collisions usually involve deer, moose, camels and kangaroos. Because these are large animals, the collisions are frequently associated with high morbidity and mortality rates. Camel-vehicle collisions in the Middle East—especially Saudi Arabia—have risen to such disturbing proportions that definitive action is necessary for mitigating the trend. Arabian camels, weighing up to 726 kg, form a crucial part of the socio-cultural experience in Saudi Arabia, where about half a million of them are found. Saudi Arabia presents a case of habitat fragmentation, especially in rural communities, where good road systems coexist with domesticated camels. This environment has made camel-vehicle collisions inevitable, and in 2004 alone two hundred such cases were reported. Injuries are directly related to the size of the camel, the speed of the vehicle, passengers' use or avoidance of seat belts, and the protective reflex movements taken to avoid collision. Cervical and dorsal spinal injuries, especially fractured discs, head and chest injuries, are the most commonly reported injuries, and the fatality rate is four times higher than for other causes of traffic accidents. Various mitigation measures are considered in the present work, including measures to improve driver's visibility; the construction of highway fencing; under- and over-passes allowing free movement of camels; the use of reflective warning signs, and awareness programs.


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