Fifty Years of Motor Vehicle Crashes in Saudi Arabia: A Way Forward

Salaheddine Bendak1, *, Naif Al-Shammari2, In-Ju Kim3
1 Department of Industrial Engineering, Halic University, Istanbul, Turkey
2 Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Hail, Hail, Saudi Arabia
3 Department of Industrial Engineering and Engineering Management, University of Sharjah, Sharjah, UAE

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Creative Commons License
© 2022 Bendak et al.

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Department of Industrial Engineering, Halic University, Istanbul, Turkey; Tel: +90-212-924 2444; E-mail:



This study involves an in-depth assessment of the state of traffic safety across the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia over the last fifty years.


A comprehensive dataset of 59 published peer-reviewed journal articles, as well as 212 government reports and official statistics, was collated and critically assessed to determine major factors affecting traffic safety in the country.

Results and Discussion:

Results reveal that some traffic safety indicators are still showing worsening trends despite the great efforts to improve road safety in Saudi Arabia, while few other areas have either stabilized or started showing some improvements over recent years. Findings also show that human losses (estimated to be 4.7% among all mortalities) and economic losses (estimated to be as high as $16b annually) are significantly higher than developed and most developing countries. Contributing factors to the high losses include risky behaviors of drivers and road users, speeding, unrestrained seatbelts, use of handheld electronic devices and/or mobile phones, high motor vehicle ownership rate, and others.


It can be concluded that various traffic safety indicators have been giving mixed signs in Saudi Arabia over the last fifty years, and a change in safety behavior among road users is needed along with new strategies to minimize motor vehicle crashes.

Keywords: Motor vehicle crashes, Human and economic losses, Behavior of road users, Sustainable road transportation, Passengers, Road safety.