(MENAFN - Muscat Daily) Speeding on roads is the biggest killer in Oman. According to ROP, more than 1,100 people lost their lives in road accidents in 2012, a majority of them due to speeding and a large percentage (60 per cent) of those killed were young people.
Sultan Qaboos University (SQU) researchers, in collaboration with ROP's Directorate General of Traffic, are conducting a study to know what makes young drivers speed or flout traffic safety norms.
This research will help authorities arrive at solutions to curb this trend and prevent accidents and the resultant loss of lives and injuries.
The study will cover Omani drivers in the 18-45 years age group. Data collected from this group will be broken down to concentrate on the 18-25 years age group.
Abdullah al Maniri, assistant professor, Department of Family Medicine and Public Health at SQU's College of Medicine and Health Sciences, said, ''At SQU, a project is on to understand what makes youths speed. Like any other negative behaviour, for example smoking, we wish to know why they engage in this practice, especially when it has led to many fatal road crashes. Once we know the cause, we can suggest ways to address it.''
He said the research is being carried out in cooperation with ROP's Directorate General of Traffic. The epidemiological cross-sectional study aims at collecting theory-based evidence to understand factors behind speeding behaviour.
Researchers will use the Health Belief Model (HBM) to study perceived severity of speeding, perceived susceptibility, perceived benefits and the perceived barriers to stick to speed limits, he said.
HBM is a psychological model that attempts to explain and predict health behaviours by focusing on attitudes and beliefs of individuals.
''During our study we will concentrate on whether they take speeding too seriously, what benefit do they foresee in speeding, does it help them, do they speed under peer pressure or is there family influence. We will look into all social and cultural factors,'' Maniri said.
He said, ''With help from ROP, a database on road traffic accidents is being developed. With this at our disposal we will be able to locate the clusters or locations where the maximum crashes occur. Analysing them will help us with interventions.''
Oman saw 1,139 deaths due to road accidents in 2012, an eight per cent rise over 2011's 1,05