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Seat Belt Use on Transportation Buses for Hajj 1438 (2017).


In Saudi Arabia, there were approximately 526,000 vehicle crashes in 2016 causing about 39,000 injuries, with up to 17 deaths per day. Seat belt use is mandatory in Saudi Arabia by law, but compliance during Hajj is unknown.


An observational study on seat belt use among pilgrims and bus drivers occurred during 1438 Hajj. We observed seat belt use and police enforcement of seat belt use for buses at check points.


We observed seat belt use on 40 buses carrying 41- 49 passengers each. Five (12.5%) buses out of 40 had at least one passenger using a seat belt. Females (54%) had higher seat belt use than males (49.6%) although this difference was not statistically significant. All 40 (100%) bus drivers wore seat belts. We did not observe drivers or police encouraging passengers to use seat belts. No Saudi nationals were observed wearing seatbelts, regardless of sex or socioeconomic status. More pilgrims from developed countries used seatbelts than pilgrims from less developed countries (51.1% vs 0%)


Seat belt use among Hajj pilgrims is low, despite laws requiring seat belt use. Public awareness of the benefits of seat belts and strong enforcement of seat belt use can reduce injuries from vehicle crashes, including at hajj.