Towers Watson Notes Safety Measures Cause Fall in Mideast Traffic Accidents

July 15, 2011

A report from Towers Watson has concluded that “motor insurance losses in a number of Middle East countries have dropped sharply thanks to traffic safety measures,” which have reduced accident and casualty rates by 30 to 50 percent over the last four years.

The research showed that “in 2006/07 Dubai, Qatar, Oman and Saudi Arabia had road fatality rates among the worst 10 in the world. Since then, steps taken to update traffic enforcement and regulations, while still in their infancy, have shown great promise in tackling the problem. Towers Watson estimates that insurance payouts have been reduced by $160 million in the United Arab Emirates alone.

“Up to 2006/07 around a third of accidents that resulted in an insurance claim were found to be primarily the result of traffic violations such as excessive speeding, tail-gating and running red lights.”

Andy Staudt of Towers Watson, who led the research, commented: “At one point, road fatalities in the Middle East region were the second highest cause of death after heart disease, whereas in the United States they don’t even appear in the top 10. The result of widespread government intervention has been instrumental in saving lives and has led to significant insurance savings over the past several years.”

The report noted that the measures the Middle Eastern countries have taken to achieve the reduction in traffic accidents included “harsher regulations and stricter enforcement policies. Fines for most traffic violations have been increased and several police forces have also increased the number of patrols while introducing quotas and incentives to combat lax enforcement. Traffic and speed cameras have become more common, speed limits have been revisited and reduced in many areas, and regulations for the use of hand-held mobile phones and seat belts have been tightened.”

Staudt added: “The measures introduced by governments are likely to stabilize the percentage of revenues that motor insurers payout in claims at up to 10 percent below pre-2007 levels.”

Source: Towers Watson

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