Under-reporting of road crashes in Pakistan and the role of fate

Kayani, Ahsan, Fleiter, Judy J., & King, Mark J. (2014) Under-reporting of road crashes in Pakistan and the role of fate. Traffic Injury Prevention, 15(1), pp. 34-39.

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Objective: Comprehensive, accurate information about road crashes and related trauma is a prerequisite for identification and control of risk factors as well as for identifying faults within the broader road safety system. Quality data and appropriate crash investigation are critical in reducing the road toll that is rapidly growing in much of the developing world, including Pakistan. This qualitative research explored the involvement of social and cultural factors (in particular, fatalism) in risky road use in Pakistan. The findings highlight a significant issue, previously unreported in the road safety literature, namely, the link between fatalistic beliefs and inaccurate reporting of road crashes.

Method: Thirty interviews (one-to one) were conducted by the first author with police officers, drivers, policy makers and religious orators in three Pakistani cities.

Findings: Evidence emerged of a strong link between fatalism and the under-reporting of road crashes. In many cases, crashes and related road trauma appear to go unreported because a crash is considered to be one’s fate and, therefore, beyond personal control. Fate was also implicated in the practice of reconciliation between parties after a crash without police involvement and the seeking and granting of pardon for a road death.

Conclusions: These issues represent additional factors that can contribute to under-reporting of crashes and associated trauma. Together, they highlight complications involved in establishing the true cost of road trauma in a country such as Pakistan and the difficulties faced when attempting to promote scientifically-based road safety information to counteract faith-based beliefs.

Impact and interest:

2 citations in Scopus
2 citations in Web of Science®
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ID Code: 60830
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Additional URLs:
Keywords: fatalism, Pakistan, road safety, road crash reporting, crash data, Islam
DOI: 10.1080/15389588.2013.793797
ISSN: 1538-957X (online) 1538-9588 (print)
Divisions: Current > Research Centres > Centre for Accident Research & Road Safety - Qld (CARRS-Q)
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2013 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC
Copyright Statement: This is an Author's Accepted Manuscript of an article published in Traffic Injury Prevention [Volume 15, Issue 1, (2014)] [copyright Taylor & Francis], available online at: http://www.tandfonline.com/10.1080/15389588.2013.793797
Deposited On: 17 Jun 2013 23:57
Last Modified: 23 Jun 2017 14:44

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