More than that, this goes to my good friend and former neighbour who now lies unconscious in a hospital bed in Medina, in an induced coma. He was travelling to Medina last Friday with three of his friends when a tyre blew in his vehicle, sending it rolling across the centre barrier to the oncoming traffic. Apparently, the tumbling vehicle rolled over five times and sent my friend D flying out of the window in the process, landing him on the asphalt hitting his head on the pavement.
Apparently, his skull is fractured, and there are some serious concerns that the doctors are not so sure of, yet. His parents have flown in from Lebanon and I cannot even go see him since the road to Medina is only open to Muslims.
I pray, and hope, that he recovers. Soon.
Saudi Arabia boasts of some of the worst drivers in the world. Looking at statistics in Saudi Arabia:
- more than 6,400 deaths every year from car accidents, which means, every 82 minutes one person dies of a road accident
- over 50,000 deaths, 300,000 injuries and losses of over 100 billion Saudi Riyal (= 26.6 billion US$) from car accidents in the past 10 years. Compare that to only 200 casualties from terrorist activities..!
- 4.3 million car accidents causing 86,000 deaths and 611,000 injuries in the past 19 years.
- 85% of accidents are caused by drivers violating to traffic rules
- 7% of injuries end with complete or partial disability
- and majority of hospital beds (up to 80% in some hospitals) are occupied by road accident victims, not people suffering from various medical conditions and illnesses.
Using mobile phones while driving is ‘supposed to be’ prohibited, but no one cares. Not even the cops.
There are no female drivers in Saudi Arabia, women are not allowed to drive.
The eldest son of the family could get the driving licence at 16 under special permission in order to support the family if he has lost his father.
You can pretty much park anywhere during prayer time, just like the pavement opposite Odel.