Background and Objectives: Mortality from road traffic collisions (RTC) is a major problem in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries. Low compliance with seatbelt usage can be a contributing factor for increased mortality. The present study aimed to ascertain the presence of a relationship between seatbelt non-compliance of vehicle occupants and mortality rates in the GCC countries versus other high-income countries. Design and Setting: Observational and descriptive study using information published by the World Health Organization Methods: Data for all GCC countries (n=6) and other high-income countries (n=37) were retrieved and compared with regard to population, gross national income, number of vehicles, seatbelt non-compliance and road traffic death rates. Univariate and multivariate analysis were used to define factors affecting the mortality rates. Results: The median road traffic death rates, occupant death rates, and the percentage of seatbelt non-compliance were significantly higher in the GCC countries (P<.0001, P=.02, P<.001, respectively). There was a strong correlation between occupant death rates and seatbelt non-compliance (R=.52, P=.008). Seatbelt non-compliance percentage was the only significant factor predicting mortality in the multiple linear regression model (P=.015). Conclusions: Seatbelt non-compliance percentages in the GCC countries are significantly higher than in other high-income countries. This is a contributing factor in the increased road traffic collision mortality rate in these countries. Enforcement of seatbelt usage by law should be mandatory so as to reduce the toll of death of RTC in the GCC countries.
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