The Saudi streets are notoriously famous for their fatal car accidents. It is reported that more than 300,000 traffic accidents occur every year. Traffic accidents also account for over 30 percent of the total beds occupied in hospitals and cost upwards of 21 billion Saudi Riyals a year. Around 19 people die in car accidents every day. In accordance with the current trend, if not stopped, the figure for annual accidents will increase to 4 million per annum by 2030.[irp]
One of the main contributors to this high rate of deaths in traffic accidents is the lack of car seats for young children and seatbelts for all passengers. As a matter of fact, it is so common for children to be crushed by their parents while holding them during an accident, that this has been termed as Saudi airbags by medical staff. Another term is given to a common occurrence that is the child flying out from the back seats through the windscreen is called a Saudi bullet. It is a dark and hard reality for the medical staff in KSA who faces such car accident fatalities daily. The frequency of these cases has caused the creation of an abbreviation “RTA”, which stands for road traffic accident, and it has been coined for the victims.
One of the main problems for the high rate of facilities is that the seatbelt has not been generally accepted as necessary; however, people are learning that it is crucial to do so. Along with this, some huge Saudi families cannot afford the large vehicles required to properly accommodate all passengers, or they cannot afford the high number of car seats. The government needs to help families by reducing prices for car seats like they do in other countries. Sometimes it is just pure ignorance. There is a need for more education about child car safety and the benefits of using car seats.
A huge number of people think that car seats cannot save lives and is a waste of money. This problem can be resolved by giving a lesson on the subject when the baby is born. Some countries require you to have a baby seat for the baby before discharging them from the hospital. However, there are still several people who are aware of the statistics that prove how beneficial the car seats are and how they can save lives, yet they still choose not to use them. Why may you ask? This is because of the attitude that everything is QadrAllah, which means that whatever happens to a person is according to the fate that has been set for him or her by God. So, if God decided to let a young child die, what good would the car seat do anyway, right?[irp]
I disagree with this attitude as we tend to list things which have been caused by our faults, to be the will of God. Furthermore, if you value your family, especially your children, it is your duty to provide them with something even if it gives them the slightest protection.