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Automobile Exposure – The Various Threats That Drivers Face in Saudi Arabia Report

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Updated: Apr 2nd, 2022

Introduction

The automobile industry in Saudi Arabia is complex. Drivers face diverse risks in their daily operations on the road. A driver’s risks may be related to prospects of something transpiring that may affect his normal operations. They underscore the probability of a driver making either an improvement or damage in the course of his work. A risk may be a consequence or likelihood of uncertainty. The effective management of a vehicle enables a driver to avoid risks and achieve his or her objectives during normal operations (Al-tukhi et al 1).

This paper evaluates the various threats that drivers face in Saudi Arabia. The study explains the levels and different risk management remedies. In addition, it presents several causes of car collisions in the region and the major insurance companies available to provide covers for cars.

Risks

Drivers in Saudi Arabia face a multiplicity of risks. The most outstanding ones relate to overwork. Drivers in the region should not be on the road for a period exceeding 12 hours a day. Drivers need a rest of approximately six to eight hours in a day. In addition, they should only work for about six days a week. These aspects allow them maximum rest and rejuvenation of the body. They provide room for the drivers to refresh and regain energy before embarking on other assignments. Certain drivers in Saudi Arabia overwork themselves and drive fast to meet the objectives of their companies. This fact exposes them to great risks. They desire to deliver goods and services to several destinations within the shortest time possible (Al-tukhi et al 2).

The second notable hazard that Saudi Arabian drivers face is that of a crash. This happening can lead to the death of the driver or passengers or body injuries. Drivers usually get involved in road accidents. Natural disasters may also be veritable threats to the automobile industry in Saudi Arabia. For example, the country is popular in the media for incidences like terrorist attacks and huge MVCs1. In addition, the country experienced floods and this aspect can threaten the work of drivers. Terrorist attacks comprise other forms of risks that Saudi Arabian drivers face. They can be key challenges in the country as the rise of war and rebel groups is high (Al-tukhi et al 3).

Drivers also subject themselves to the threat of open windows. Studies indicate that drivers who spend a lot of time driving while their windows are open may be vulnerable to developing skin cancer. The researchers reveal that these drivers are most likely to develop left-side cancers.

Drivers may be susceptible to the risk of harmful rays from the sun. Most windscreens constitute glass that can allow UVA2 and UVB3 light to penetrate. This aspect aggravates the risk of the drivers to these harmful sun rays. The long-term effects of these rays can be the development of cancer to the victim.

Saudi Arabian drivers may be vulnerable to the carcinogenic impacts of toxic diesel fumes. In most cases, motor vehicles like buses, taxis, and trucks use diesel engines. These engines release toxic fumes that may cause cancer in the human body. Professional drivers may be predisposed to potential exposure to diesel fumes. This aspect may be detrimental to the well-being of the driver. Exhaust fumes have become a cause of public health concern for drivers and cause lung cancer. A large number of professional drivers in Saudi Arabia face this threat of exhaust fumes (Al-Quwain 3).

Levels of risks

Different factors contribute to the risks that Saudi Arabian drivers face. The severity of risk may vary according to the number of its causative factors. The significant agent for risk may be the inexperience of a driver. The lack of adequate experience of the driver may increase the chances of a risk transpiring. For example, a newly licensed driver may have a higher risk of experiencing a crash than an experienced one. Experience helps to combat and reduce chances of a risk arising during driving. The second factor relates to teenage passengers. The presence of children or teenage passengers in the vehicle may increase the prospects of a threat materializing. Teenagers or children passengers often tend to get excited and interfere with the work of the driver. This aspect may lead to the occurrence of an accident. The other circumstance that may aggravate the degree of exposure to risks for drivers involves distractions while driving. Interferences in Saudi Arabia can be in different forms. Drivers must focus their attention on the road to avoid diversions while driving. A number of distractions for drivers may include cell phones, absent mindedness, receiving calls or writing messages while driving. These aspects interfere with the driver’s mind and increase the likelihood of an accident arising.

The other remarkable component that increases the level of exposure to threats for drivers in Saudi Arabia is driving at high speed. Driving at excessive speeds can increase the likelihood of causing an accident. This fact poses a consequential threat to the driver’s life. Drivers may be prone to making unsuitable decisions while driving at high speeds. It becomes easy for them to cause tragedies. Driving while drunk is another risky venture that predisposes drivers to calamities. It causes poor judgement during driving. This fact leads to fatal crashes that may claim the lives of drivers and passengers. In addition, driving at night may have fatal consequences on the driver as visibility may not be clear. This point interferes with the normal driving. That circumstance qualifies to be one of the risk factors for drivers in Saudi Arabia. Studies also report that male teenage drivers cause more accidents than other categories of drivers. Researchers argue that being a male teenage driver is in itself a consequential factor that can trigger the occurrence of a risk. Lately, statistics show that female drivers cause accidents too. Social elements make remarkable contributions to the determination of the degree of subjection to road risks. Risk considerations are a reality in the automobile industry. However, the threats depend on the drivers themselves and the geographical conditions of Saudi Arabia (Al-suwian 3).

Risk management for drivers in Saudi Arabia

The objective of risk management involves the increment of a driver’s safety and a reduction of the instances of loss. Risks happen when corrective mechanisms are not properly instituted. This paper observes the need to increase the number of low risk drivers who recognize real and prospective risks and reduce the hazards through restructuring speed and communicating to other actors about their actions (Bullen 1).

This assessment examines the need for drivers to adopt procedures of risk mitigation in Saudi Arabia. This element may be vital in curbing and controlling the many hazards the drivers face in their daily operations. Drivers in Saudi Arabia need to create a framework for the management of their risks. The initial step towards developing an efficient structure for risk avoidance is to appreciate and comprehend the qualitative variations between the different categories of risks that drivers and the automobile industry face. The drivers should be aware that risks can be catastrophic to their survival or to the progress of a business enterprise. Risks fall into different categories. The driver should understand these different classifications of threats and take an appropriate insurance cover.

Preventable threats are usually internal hazards that may arise within the driver’s factors, like behaviours or vehicles. They are controllable, and the driver should eliminate or avoid these perils. Examples of the threats may include drinking and driving, taking a phone call or texting while driving or over speeding the vehicle. Drivers may be able to manage these groups of threats and can be avoided through a change of behaviour. The appropriate regulatory mechanism for these risks entails active prevention measures by the driver. This element can be possible through monitoring operational processes of the driver, guiding his actions and decisions while driving. This aspect may guide him, or her to adopt the best road behaviour practices that may eliminate these threats. Drivers need to adopt a culture of best practices in driving to minimize the instances of preventable risks.

The second classification of threats entails strategy risks. A driver can vary certain choices in order to avoid the occurrence of risks. For example, he can follow a dusty route that is shorter and faster than take a proper route that is long. In doing so, the driver may incur the risk of compromising his health due to exposure to dust. However, his choice may result in good returns in terms of speedy delivery of goods or supply of items and time saving. Strategy risks are distinct from preventable ones. This fact is because they may be opportunity risks. The risks may be desirable for the driver or the business organization because of their benefits. This group of threats cannot be managed through structured models. However, the driver can use a risk management structure that decreases the prospects of the assumed risks and improves his or her ability to contain or control the threats. The system for the management of strategy threats does not prevent a driver or an organization from taking risks. It enables the driver to manage the events of the threat and the capacity of taking high risks. He can achieve this goal through the use of a risk management model.

The third category of risks comprises of external hazards. These risks may be above the control capacity of the driver. The causes of these hazards may include the condition of the road, and weather or other road users. Examples of these risks may include flood wash of the vehicle or an accidental crash.

In risk management, it is critical to note that the driver only exercises his or her capabilities. For instance, his decisions and judgement relate to his experiences and mental strengths. Drivers who do not possess sufficient experience and know-how may not make appropriate decisions in their work. The driver’s decisions may also be determined by the surrounding environment. Drivers may use the surrounding environment to make critical resolutions while driving. For instance, drivers observe control signs, traffic lights and police to get significant information while driving. The decisiveness of the driver informs his survival on the road.

A risk management process for Saudi Arabian drivers

Establishment of the context

The drivers must establish and define the context in which they operate in Saudi Arabian regions. They should determine their functions and exposure to risks. This point can be vital in assessing the situations in which threats are likely to affect their operations.

Identification of threats

The second part of the risk management process for the Saudi Arabian drivers involves identification of the different perils they are likely to face during their operations. This point forms one of the crucial parts of the risk management process for the drivers. It may determine how to resolve the different risks that may be identified. The drivers’ risk identification process can be undertaken using a structured format. This element can develop a list of events whose occurrences may pose a significant threat to the drivers. This layout acts as a checklist for discernment of drivers’ threats. Drivers must be able to trace the potential causes of the perils. They must develop the capacity to create a risk matrix that can increase the probability of developing effective remedies for counteraction of the threats.

Risk analysis

The third step in this process denotes risk examination. The drivers must analyze the perils they face in Saudi Arabia. This approach involves the development of an efficient understanding of the pinpointed threats. Risk analysis provides an opportunity for the Saudi Arabian drivers to understand and internalize the nature of risks and how they would affect their operations. This effort helps them to draft measures to manage the impacts of the threats. The objective of this procedure is to establish a deep apprehension of the level and effects of risks and their nature. It may also help the organization to harmonize priorities of risk mitigation plan according to the level of urgency, consequence and probability of threat occurrence (Bullen 2).

Evaluation of the risk

The fourth measure in the risk control process signifies evaluation of the threat. Saudi Arabian drivers should evaluate their perils as part of the management approach. The objective of this procedure is to make a concrete decision on account of the analysis of the risk the driver may face. It should also take into account the priority of treatment or what risk the organization should address in the first rank. Evaluation of the threat enables one to make a decision on the basis of the scientific outcomes of the risk. Saudi Arabian drivers take can employ 4 measures in this procedure. The techniques include avoiding, reducing, mitigating or transferring the risk.

Monitoring, reviewing, communicating and consulting

The fifth stage of the risk control operation is to monitor, review, communicate and consult. Saudi Arabian drivers should adopt this technique because the causes of risks change over time. The drivers need to monitor the development of the risks through a control monitoring initiative to ensure no threats and that risk operations run correctly. The drivers must conduct a quarterly review of all risks that the drivers may encounter. The review step comprises of a critical part of the risk control and treatment process. Drivers must communicate and consult at all stages of the risk management process. This point provides the appropriate coordination for the drivers to understand and overcome the challenges. The procedure requires continuous dialogue among stakeholders of the Saudi Arabian driving sector in order to provide a holistic approach to solutions.

Financial effects of the automobile insurance

All Saudi Arabian drivers must acquire third party insurance. The government legally enshrines this policy as part of the laws of Saudi Arabia. The third party insurance cover may be the cheapest a driver can procure to cover for damages that may be incurred on the road. In addition, all emigrants take a comprehensive insurance cover to cater for damages and other risks like accidents, fire and theft. A number of the financial consequences of the automobile insurance include increased expenditure for drivers under insurance. Saudi Arabia and the overall Gulf region remain the fastest developing insurance markets across the world. For example, Saudi Arabia is the best prospect for policy writers among the GCC4 member states. Saudi Arabia increases its insurance premiums every year. However, for the drivers, it implies continued expenditure to achieve comprehensive covers for motor vehicles (Arena 921).

Causes of car collisions in Saudi Arabia

Motor vehicles comprise of the main mode of transport in Saudi Arabia. However, the country is the leading state in the world in accident related deaths. This study outlines several causes of accidents in Saudi Arabia.

Riyadh is one of the most affected regions in Saudi Arabia in terms of accidents. A number of the factors that cause accidents in Saudi Arabia include over speeding of vehicles beyond speed targets. Drivers expose themselves and their passengers to the risk of death when they exceed the set limits. This aspect is a common practice in Saudi Arabia, and it has claimed many lives. For instance, many Saudi teenage drivers race against each other on the road. They ignore traffic lights and stipulated speed limits to drive at high speeds. In most cases, this aspect leads to the occurrence of accidents.

Several activities may divert the attention of Saudi Arabian drivers on the road. These distracters lead to the occurrence of accidents. The culture of eating while driving causes road accidents in Saudi Arabia. The act of eating engages at least one of the driver’s hands and increases the probability of the driver losing control in case of a diversion. The driver may have a high likelihood of losing control of the car and causing a collision.

The other factor may include the driver talking and telling stories with passengers while driving. This point increases the risk of an accident because it interrupts the attention of the driver by talking and driving. It also diverts his attention from the road, and it may lead to an accident.

The other critical factor that causes many accidents in Saudi Arabia includes changing weather conditions. The changes in weather in the region are beyond human control. Most drivers are not sure of the actions to undertake when there are abrupt changes in weather conditions (Sullivan et al 29). Many cities in Saudi Arabia experience periodic sandstorms. These storms may obstruct the vision of the driver and cause instability of the vehicle. This element makes it easy for the driver to lose control of his or her car. The country also experiences foggy weather conditions. These conditions may be similar to sandstorms. However, the two weather conditions may be distinct. Hazards become hard to decipher during foggy weather conditions. In addition, it becomes difficult to estimate distances between vehicles. Therefore, wrong estimations and calculations can lead to the occurrence of an accident. Furthermore, when the vision is not clear during the unfavorable weather instances, accidents may happen. Saudi Arabia also experiences desert conditions. It does not rain in most instances. Most drivers and people may be inexperienced on how to deal with rainy weather circumstances. This aspect makes it risky because drivers lose control of their vehicles and collide with each other during rainy weather. Saudi Arabia experiences many road accidents in a year. Common factors behind these accidents include high speed limits; drunk driving, distractions and changes in weather patterns. These reasons may be responsible for the large numbers of accidents that occur in the region.

Major car insurance companies in Saudi Arabia

This paper indicates that Saudi Arabia has many car insurance companies. These insurance companies offer diverse covers on various risks that affect cars. A number of the companies include the Allianz Saudi Fransi, ACE Insured Company, the Al Rajhi Company of cooperative insurance, the Al Alamiya Company of cooperative insurance and the American International Group & Arab National Bank Cooperative Insurance Company. Another company includes the Saudi Arabia Car Insurance Company.

References

Al-suwian, Aziz. Potential petrochemical hazards in Saudi Arabia. Riyadh: Division of Planning and Training, 2009.Print.

Al-tukhi et al. Road traffic accidents: statistics and data comparing the Gulf countries and the Ruyadh area. Riyadh:Saudi Med, 2008.Print.

Arena, Marco. “Does Insurance Market Activity Promote Economic Growth.” Journal of Risk & Insurance 75. 4 (2008): 921-946.Print.

Bullen, Pierce. Risk Management. Management Alternatives for Human Resources. 2013. Web.

Sullivan et al. Economics: Principles in Action. New Jersey: Pearson Prentice Hall, 2011.Print.

Footnotes

  1. Stands for motor vehicle collisions.
  2. Refers to Ultra violet radiations that are manifest in all weather conditions.
  3. Refers to Ultra violet radiations that are more prevalent in hot weather.
  4. Refers to the Gulf Cooperation Council.
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