HPC: Accidents, including traffic accidents, third cause of death in Jordan

The Higher Population Council (HPC) has disclosed that accidents, including road incidents, are the third cause of death in Jordan, trailing only behind circulatory ailments and cancer in terms of mortality rates. On the occasion of World Traffic Day, marked annually on the fourth of May, the HPC has released a statement underscoring the profound and indiscriminate impact of road accidents on individuals of all ages, causing not only fatalities but also debilitating physical injuries that may leave temporary or permanent health conditions, the ramifications of which persist for many years. The Council pointed out that traffic accidents carry a significant economic burden, accounting for approximately 3 percent of the gross domestic product in many countries. Additionally, the HPC added, it is a matter of grave concern that over 90 percent of road-related fatalities worldwide transpire in low- and middle-income countries, despite these countries accounting for a mere 45 percent of the total vehicles present globally, as per global statistics. The Council’s statement has emphasized that Jordan’s incidence of road accidents and the severity thereof remain constant, however, the sheer number of accidents is predicted to surge along with the intensification of traffic congestion, a foreseeable consequence of the country’s rapid population growth. Over the past two decades, Jordan’s population has swelled by 6 million people, and it currently stands at 11.4 million. Furthermore, the country’s demographic composition, dominated by a youthful age structure, with 4.6 million individuals under the age of 18, indicates that it is plausible that half of the age cohort between 10-19 years (2.32 million) will attain vehicular ownership during the upcoming eight years (2023-2030). The underlying reasons behind this alarming trend are manifold, including the concentration of 92 percent of the country’s population, as well as drivers and vehicles, in the eight governorates located in the central and northern regions of the Kingdom, the statement noted. Moreover, authorities’ decisions to alter street use, granting permission for the establishment of various commercial outlets, have also contributed to exacerbating the issue, according to the HPC. The Council has underscored the prospect of reducing the risk of road accidents in Jordan further, by prioritizing traffic control and violations based on the primary causes of accidents. Recent data has indicated that in 2021, nearly 45 percent of total accidents could be traced back to three leading factors: lane change (25.2 percent), right-of-way violations (10.6 percent), and tailgating (8.8 percent). Henceforth, the Council has put forth a recommendation to disclose data pertaining to traffic violations classified by the causes of accidents, enabling data analysts to gauge the correlation between violations and the underlying causes of accidents. As per the Council’s observations, Jordan has experienced a marked upswing in the number of registered vehicles in the years spanning 2017-2021. The tally of recorded vehicles has surged from approximately 1.58 million in 2017 to around 1.80 million in 2021, representing a rate of one vehicle per every six individuals. Moreover, the number of vehicles has increased annually by 3.2 percent over the past five years. As per the statement, the upswing in the number of registered vehicles and population in Jordan has been accompanied by a rise in the incidence of traffic accidents. In 2021 alone, a staggering 160,600 accidents transpired, with 11,241 resulting in human injuries. The number of accidents causing human injury has also surged from 2017 to 2021, equating to an approximate daily average of 31 accidents in 2021, with a total financial cost of 320 million dinars. This cost represents a stark increase from 2017, when the financial toll amounted to 308 million dinars. Regarding fatalities, the death rate due to road accidents per 100,000 individuals amounted to 5.3, whereas the rate of individuals injured per 100,000 people was 158.1. The severity rate of accidents, quantified as the number of fatalities and injuries relative to the total number of accidents, has remained fairly constant between 2017-2021, at approximately 0.113. However, there has been a slight uptick in this rate when compared to 2020, the year of the pandemic, which recorded a severity rate of 0.107. The data provides compelling evidence that humans are the leading cause of road accidents, accounting for 96.7 percent of all injury accidents in 2021. By contrast, roads and vehicles were responsible for a relatively meager 2.6 percent and 0.7 percent, respectively, of total injury accidents. As per the Council’s statement, Jordan is poised to witness a significant uptick in the number of registered vehicles, with projections indicating that the tally may reach 2.3 million by 2030. In light of this, the Council has urged the allocation of substantial financial resources towards augmenting the length of road networks and enhancing traffic safety measures. Moreover, the statement has also highlighted the transportation sector’s considerable energy consumption, which presently accounts for approximately 47 percent of Jordan’s total energy demand. It is anticipated that the expenses incurred by transportation projects will exceed 500 million Jordanian dinars by the end of 2027, with a major proportion of the outlay going towards road network and passenger transportation services.

Source: Jordan News Agency