Lebanon vs. Egypt: Who are the worst drivers of them all?

Traffic chaos on a Cairo street
Updated 14 January 2018
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Lebanon vs. Egypt: Who are the worst drivers of them all?

CAIRO/BEIRUT: Lebanon and Egypt may be two of the Arab world’s most contrasting countries, but there is one unenviable trait they do share — a reputation for bad driving.
Any visitor to either nation will return with tales of terror on the roads, from the horrifying swerving through Beirut’s traffic-jammed streets to the gut-wrenching overtaking on the highways of Cairo.
Arab News set out to try and answer the question of which country has the worst drivers.
Our Lebanese and Egyptian reporters have detailed the daily horrors of getting behind the wheel in their home countries, with an analysis of the death and accident rates, to try and find the answer.
The huge differences between the two countries did not make it easy. Egypt, of course, is far bigger with far more vehicles and a vast road network; Lebanon has fewer cars but a higher rate of vehicle ownership per head of population.
For Lebanon, the figures make grim reading. You are four times more likely to be in a road accident in Lebanon than in Egypt, according to official accident rates for 2016. Deaths in road accidents were also higher with 7.94 per 100,000 people compared to 5.58 in Egypt.

While there may be questions about how the figures from each country are compiled, they do point to a similar set of problems that may be the cause of the shared disregard of driving etiquette in the two countries.
In both cases, safety experts blame the governments for a lack of infrastructure investment or clear policy on how to improve the situation.
In Lebanon, blame for the culture of bad driving is also placed upon the country’s chaotic and difficult history. In Egypt, the economic difficulties and lack of planning are also to blame.
The positive news is that the number of accidents and deaths does appear to be declining.
As the two countries face financial and political turmoil and with improvements to roads still a long way to go, Lebanese people to this day still wonder why they drive in the chaotic way they do while Egyptians must accept living through daily nightmares on notorious Cairo roads.


Jordan MP, family members among 8 killed in road crash

Updated 16 min 51 sec ago
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Jordan MP, family members among 8 killed in road crash

  • Jordanian MP Mohammad Amamreh, his wife and three children were among the dead in the horror crash
  • Parliament speaker Atef Tarawneh cancelled Sunday’s Parliamentary session following the MP’s death

AMMAN: A Jordanian MP, his wife and three of his children were among eight people killed late Saturday when their car collided with a winch truck, a security source said.
The truck’s driver and his assistant were also killed in the crash on the desert highway south of Amman, along with MP Mohammad Amamreh, his wife, three children and his brother-in-law, the source said Sunday.
Parliament speaker Atef Tarawneh expressed his sorrow at the loss of Amamreh, a 53-year-old former army colonel from the southern Jordanian city of Maan.
Tarawneh decided to cancel a parliamentary session that was slated for Sunday, with a new date set for Monday, a statement said.
Jordan has a dire road safety record, with 750 people killed in 2016, nearly 150 more than the previous year.
Accidents are often attributed to the poor state of roads, disregard for driving rules and bad weather conditions, including sandstorms.
The desert highway that stretches from Amman to the southern port city of Aqaba is often the scene of fatal crashes.