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Fatalism and road safety in developing countries, with a focus on Pakistan.

Kayani, A, King, M J, Fleiter, JJ (Peer reviewed)

General

2011

Road crashes are a significant problem in developing countries such as Pakistan. Attitudes are among the human factors that influence risky road use and receptiveness to interventions. Fatalism is a set of attitudes known to be important in Pakistan and other developing countries; however, it is rarely addressed in the road safety literature. Two broad types of fatalism are theological fatalism and empirical fatalism, both of which are found in developed countries as well as in developing countries. Where research has been conducted into the issue, fatalism is considered to interfere with messages aimed at improving road safety. Pakistan has a serious road crash problem, and there is sufficient information to suggest that fatalism is an important contributing factor to the problem, but a better understanding of how fatalism operates in Pakistan is needed if effective prevention strategies are to be developed. A proposed study using an anthropological approach is described, which will be exploratory in nature and which is aimed at investigating fatalism and related concepts among Pakistani road users and those who develop and implement road safety policy.