Proceedings of the 24th World International Traffic Medicine Association Congress, Qatar 2015
  • ISSN: 2223-0440
  • EISSN:


Traffic safety is one of the most important means to protect human life as well as personal and public property from harm and to contribute to social and economic growth and development. Several factors have been linked to traffic safety, but the most prominent ones are: the driver, the vehicle and the road. This paper, however, focusses only on the driver as an essential factor that impacts others, and analyzes the driver’s behavior and how drug use and psychoactive substances relate to road accidents and traffic safety. On the one hand, official statistics in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia reveal that up to 2014, traffic accidents had increased by %400 in the previous ten years, and in the past 23 years more than half a million people were injured and sixty thousand died. This represents an annual average of 4200 deaths, 1200 permanent disabilities and 8000 temporary disabilities. On the other hand, official statistics in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia point out to a-ten-fold increase in the previous years in the use of drugs and psychoactive substances.

In 1980, drug cases were in the range of three thousand, but today there are more than 40,000 annually, %70 of which concern drug consumption. Since traffic safety requires that drivers observe a high degree of vigilance and caution in order to cope with road conditions, scientific studies indicate that drivers under the effect of narcotics and psychoactive substances lose the ability to deal with unexpected emergencies. They lose the ability to concentrate and they suffer from disequilibrium in perceiving road turns and intersections and slow eye response to light, among other factors. Owing to the fact that traffic safety is vital in safeguarding society, human life and economic resources, it is essential to study the relationship between traffic accidents and the driver's behavior under the effect of narcotics and psychoactive substances. This relationship should be examined in a profound and scientific way to enable us to take appropriate decisions and offer practical solutions and to ensure road safety. This paper addresses three issues: the size and type of traffic accidents in relation to the driver’s behavior, the size and type of traffic accidents related to the behavior of the driver under the influence of narcotics and psychoactive substances, and the practical solutions for these problems with a view to achieving the right to traffic safety for all.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
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