A Technical Perspective on Roadway Safety in Eastern Province: Data Evaluation and Spatial Analysis
Saudi Arabia in recent years has seen drastic increase in traffic related crashes. With population of over 29 million, Saudi Arabia is considered as a fast growing and emerging economy. The rapid population increase and economic growth has resulted in rapid expansion of transportation infrastructure, which has led to increase in road crashes. Saudi Ministry of Interior reported more than 7,000 people killed and 68,000 injured in 2011 ranking Saudi Arabia to be one of the worst worldwide in traffic safety. The traffic safety issues in the country also result in distress to road users and cause and economic loss exceeding 3.7 billion Euros annually. Keeping this in view, the researchers in Saudi Arabia are investigating ways to improve traffic safety conditions in the country. This paper presents a multilevel approach to collect traffic safety related data required to do traffic safety studies in the region. Two highway corridors including King Fahd Highway 39 kilometre and Gulf Cooperation Council Highway 42 kilometre long connecting the cities of Dammam and Khobar were selected as a study area. Traffic data collected included traffic counts, crash data, travel time data, and speed data. The collected data was analysed using geographic information system to evaluate any correlation. Further research is needed to investigate the effectiveness of traffic safety related data when collected in a concerted effort.
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