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Over 160,000 car accidents in Saudi Arabia are caused by phone usage

StepFeed logo StepFeed 05/03/2019 StepFeed

Over 160,000 car accidents in Saudi Arabia are caused by phone usage

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There's a logical reason behind the "don't text and drive" message that always pops up on billboards, TV and social media ads, and so on. Car accidents are a major cause of death around the world, and texting one of the main causes.

A recent survey conducted by The Saudi Standards, Metrology and Quality Organization (SASO) found that "over 161,242 traffic accidents take place annually in the kingdom due to the use of mobile phones while driving." 

In their study, SASO also found that both airbags and the use of seat belts significantly reduce death rates in traffic accidents. In fact, wearing a seat belt brings accident rates down by 40 to 60 percent.

The kingdom has been strictly cracking down on the use of cell phones on the road. 

Last year, officials banned the use of mobile phones - even Bluetooth devices - while driving and announced that violators would be heavily fined for breaching the law. 

According to Saudi Gazette, "even touching the mobile phone while driving will be considered a traffic violation for which motorists will be fined SR150 ($40) for the first offense."

With second offenses, the fine increases to 300 Saudi riyals ($80) and violators risk being arrested and jailed. 

Previous statistics also pointed to the dangers of driving while using phones

This is not the first time studies point towards the dangers of the phenomenon in the kingdom.

According to Saudi Arabia's General Directorate of Traffic, "the use of mobile phones while driving is the main cause in 78 percent of road accidents recorded in the country."

Car accidents are also still considered one of the major causes of death in Saudi Arabia, with heartbreaking news of crashes often going viral online.

According to statistics published in the past few years, a car accident happens every minute on average in the country. This adds up to more than 460,000 crashes per year. 

In 2017 alone, the country recorded over 7,000 deaths related to car accidents. In 2016, 9,000 car accident fatalities - a number that translates to 12 percent of the total deaths - were recorded.

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