Yemdini: The root cause of road accidents in Saudi Arabia

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“YEMDINI”, which translates as “I can” or “I’ve got this”, is a Saudi slang word that in my opinion sums up the root cause of car accidents in Saudi Arabia. In my many years of training at Saudi Aramco and my life experience in the community outside, I have found that all the research and discussion about causes of car accidents in the Kingdom – and there are many - end up with one main root cause which is the driver’s behavior.

Statistics of Saudi Aramco’s Loss Prevention Department and the Ministry of Interior show that almost 80 percent of car accidents in the Kingdom relate to drivers’ bad driving habits. Examples include, tailgating, running red lights, incorrect overtaking and speeding.

This is when “Yemdini” struck my mind as a title for the root cause of car accidents in Saudi Arabia. There are many examples: “I can run this red traffic light (safely). Yemdini”; “I can easily overtake this car. Yemdini”; “When tailgating; I can still brake on time. Yemdini;” “We are late, I’ll step on the gas! Yemdini”.

The list is even longer if we discuss bad driving habits in detail. Such drivers have the notion that they own the road and that they can - with their alleged good driving skills – have as many narrow escapes as they want. Still, mills that grind slow grind sure. When it’s time for your pay back, the price will really be horrendous.

How many times have we heard this word “Yemdini”? However, we end up losing our loved ones because they couldn’t make it.

It’s time that we all collaborate as family members, co-workers, friends and citizens to transform “Yemdini” from a notorious symbol of the root cause of car accidents into a symbol of defensive driving to save lives. It’s time that this simple slang word reflected positive defensive driving habits, such as “Yemdini: give the right of way, stop at red lights, and follow speed limits”.

Shouldering our responsibilities toward our community and ourselves starts from within. Only we can change ourselves! Together we can do it! Yemdini!

Mohamed Elgohary

The author is an English and Behavior Change Instructor at Saudi Aramco

It’s time that we all collaborate as family members, co-workers, friends and citizens to transform “Yemdini” from a notorious symbol of the root cause of car accidents into a symbol of defensive driving to save lives.

Shouldering our responsibilities toward our community and ourselves starts from within. Only we can change ourselves! Together we can do it! Yemdini!


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