A study of road accidents, causalities and their injury patterns in Libya
This study examines the characteristics and details of road accidents that occurred in Libya between 1966 and 2000. The accident rate in Libya, on any comparable basis, is much larger than that in the Europe and USA and the culture of recording data and creating accident statistics is not well established. This work is the first attempt of any kind to collect and examine such data. Information was obtained from several sources in Libya during three field trips by the author during the course of this study. The numbers of road traffic accidents and casualties were obtained from the office of the Libyan Directorate General of Traffic based in Tripoli and the details of licensed vehicles and population statistics were obtained from the Secretariat of Planning. This data was examined using established methods used in the UE and USA to determine the utility of the accepted analysis methods in the Libyan situation. The overall results indicated that motor vehicle accidents are the most common single cause of avoidable death and disabilities in Libya averaging 3.4 per day. The reason for this is based on several factors peculiar to Libya such as the poor state of the infrastructure, the lack of road safety features, the aging vehicle population and the lack of adequate medical facilities. The data collected was divided into different categories to enable the examination of pedestrian casualties, the impact of vehicle occupancy, the age and condition of the vehicle involved and the age and sex of the victim. Each of these categories was further subdivided to provide a further detailed analysis. The results obtained from the analysis showed the utility of the established analysis methods. The results broadly agreed with the findings of other workers but indicated a higher incident rate than had been recorded in developing countries such as South Africa and Saudi Arabia and were much larger than the USA and Europe. This thesis concludes by suggesting ways in which pedestrian and traffic safety can be improved in Libya and makes recommendations with regard to improving the accident data collection and reporting methods. It is considered that this work, being the first of its kind to address road traffic accidents in Libya, has highlighted many contributory infrastructure aspects the effect of which can be reduced if the recommendations of this thesis are implemented.