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Cairo: The cost of traffic accidents in Saudi Arabia has been estimated at SR11.7 billion, according to an official report cited by a Saudi newspaper.

Around 9,420 accidents were registered inside the kingdom’s cities against 7,542 outside them last year, according to Al Watan.

Those accidents resulted in a total of 4,555 deaths, including 1,633 deaths inside the cities and 2,922 outside.

Male drivers outpaced women involved in those mishaps, according to the report based on findings by a ministerial committee for traffic safety. Accidents caused by males reached 1.6 million against 186,000 for women motorists, it said.

In 2018, the kingdom allowed women to drive for the first time in its history, ending a decades-old ban on female driving.

The overall number of males holding driving licences in Saudi Arabia stands at 1.6 million against 328,454 for women, according to the report.

In recent weeks, Saudi media reported several deadly accidents.

Earlier this month, a married couple and their four children were killed in a road crash while returning from the capital Riyadh to Jizan in south-western Saudi Arabia after spending the school holiday.

Days earlier, two people were killed and 21 others injured after their bus flipped over on a road in the Turubah governorate in western Saudi Arabia, local media reported.

In January, a Saudi cleric, his wife and their five children were killed in a road crash on a highway near the coastal city of Al Qunfudah. The tragedy occurred when a speeding truck collided with a car carrying the seven on a highway near the coastal city of Al Qunfudah, killing them all.

In recent years, Saudi authorities have toughened penalties against traffic offences to reduce traffic accidents.