Seatbelt legalisation was implemented in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in January 1999. This provided the opportunity to evaluate the effectiveness of the legislation in the Eastern District of Abu Dhabi Emirate in the UAE by establishing levels of injury severity from motor vehicle crashes (MVC) before and after the legislation and the rate of compliance with the legislation. Data were obtained from a major hospital in the Eastern District of Abu Dhabi Emirate, UAE. Subjects were a systematic sample of MVC victims who arrived alive at hospital in either the pre-implementation period (January-June 1998) or the post-implementation period (February-August 2000). The main measures of outcome were injury severity codes, numbers of hospital bed days and rates of admission and discharge at hospital. The analysis of injury severity from MVCs, from the pre- to the post-implementation period, revealed a significant declining trend (χ2 = 77.68, P<0.001). While the proportion of minor injuries increased from 42% (95% CI: 36-48%) in the pre-implementation period to 77% (95% CI: 71-83%) in the post-implementation period, the proportion of 'moderate to fatal injuries' declined from 54% (95% CI: 48-60%) to 17% (P = 0.001) and the median number of hospital bed days declined from 5 days (25% = 2; 75% = 8) to 3 days (25% = 1; 75% = 4) (P = 0.028). The rate of seatbelt compliance reported by occupants involved in MVCs in the post-implementation period was 59% (95% CI: 52-67%). The implementation of the seatbelt legislation in the Eastern District of Abu Dhabi Emirate was associated with statistically significant reduction in morbidity in those arriving alive at hospital following MVC, including reduced severity of injury, admission rate to hospital and the duration of hospital stay. More active implementation of seatbelt law would most likely further reduce severity of MVC injuries and fatalities in the Eastern District of Abu Dhabi Emirate, UAE.
- Injury severity
- MVC injuries
- Traffic accidents
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Human Factors and Ergonomics
- Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health