Economic Growth, Motorization, and Road Traffic Injuries in the Sultanate of Oman, 1985-2009

Hamed Al-Reesi, Shyam Sunder Ganguly, Samir Al-Adawi, Lucie Laflamme, Marie Hasselberg, Abdullah Al-Maniri*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Recent affluence, assisted by exploitation of hydrocarbon, has sparked unprecedented economic growth and influx of all façades of modernity in Oman. Different statistical models have examined the relationship between economic growth, motorization rates, and road traffic fatalities. However, such a relationship in Oman has never been described.Objective: To describe and analyze the trend of road traffic injuries (RTIs) in relation to motorization rates and economic growth during the period from 1985 to 2009 using Smeed's (1949) model and Koren and Borsos's (2010) model.Methods: The study is based on national data reported between 1985 and 2009. Data on the population and gross domestic product (GDP) per capita in U.S. dollars were gathered from the Ministry of National Economy reports. Data on the number of vehicles and road traffic crashes, fatalities, and injuries were gathered from the Royal Oman Police (ROP) reports. Crash, fatality, and injury rates per 1000 vehicles and per 100,000 population were computed. Linear regression analysis was carried out to estimate the average annual changes in the rates. Smeed's (1949) and Koren and Borsos's (2010) models were used to predict the relations between motorization and road traffic fatalities in Oman. In addition, a cross-sectional analysis of year 2007 data for a number of Arab countries was carried out.Results: The GDP per capita increased from US$6551 in 1985 to US$25,110 in 2009 with an annual increase of UR$547 per capita. The motorization rates increased by 36 percent from 1745 per 10,000 population in 1985 to 2382 per 10,000 population in 2009. Both Smeed's (1949) and Koren and Borsos's (2010) models had a high goodness of fit, with R2 greater than 0.70. This indicated that road traffic fatalities in Oman may have a direct relationship with increased motorization. The cross-sectional analysis showed that the relation between crash fatalities and motorization rates in Oman and the United Arab Emirates can be better explained by Koren and Borsos's (2010) model than other countries.Conclusion: Recent economic growth in Oman was associated with an increase in motorization rates, which in turn has resulted in an increased burden of road traffic fatalities and injuries.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)322-328
Number of pages7
JournalTraffic Injury Prevention
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2013


  • Oman
  • Smeed's model
  • economic growth
  • fatalities
  • motorization
  • road traffic injuries

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Safety Research
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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