UAE working toward a positive road culture

Ministry of Interior statistics show road accidents claimed the lives of 381 people in the UAE last year; 2,620 people were injured in these accidents

By Team KT

Published: Wed 3 Aug 2022, 9:54 PM

Last updated: Wed 3 Aug 2022, 11:14 PM

Unprecedented rains have made driving conditions difficult in the UAE. Police have been warning drivers of strong winds raising dust, slippery roads and poor visibility caused by the inclement weather. Fujairah and Sharjah have been the most affected Emirates and motorists have been advised to be cautious as they make their way up the mountains and along the coasts to these Emirates.

This year’s record summer showers have caught many motorists by surprise, and some have slowed and stopped on busy highways to enjoy the rains which could put theirs and the lives of other motorists in danger. Take the case of a motorist who sustained moderate injuries after his 4x4 vehicle fell into Wadi Saah in Al Ain city as he was busy filming the flowing water caused by heavy rains, according to our report.

The driver wasn’t “paying attention to the road as he was distracted by his attempts to take photos of the water flowing in the valley”. Distracted driving is the cause of a majority of accidents; speeding and wrong overtaking are the others. Here, the driver was distracted by the showers, took his eyes off the road, and his car tumbled into the wadi.

Thankfully, he was saved, but drivers should realise that sticking to speed limits is important on highways. Authorities have advised drivers to avoid wadis, hilly regions and coastal regions when the weather is rough. More rains have been forecast in the UAE and authorities have been doing their best to prevent such accidents with advance warning. Abu Dhabi police often release videos of accidents that garner millions of views.

Ministry of Interior statistics show road accidents claimed the lives of 381 people in the UAE last year; 2,620 people were injured in these accidents. The numbers are higher than the previous year when residents stayed home due to the pandemic when 256 deaths and 2,437 injuries were reported.

Vehicle crashes were also up: 3,488 in 2021. Distracted driving resulted in the most collisions: 1,031, up from 816 in 2020.

The UAE has some of the best roads in the world and the government is making it safer for motorists with radars. Roundabouts are being converted to signals to smoothen the flow of traffic and prevent bottlenecks. There’s also the threat of fines and black points for those violating the rules.

In Dubai, the government hopes to bring down road accidents to zero in 10 years. The public transport infrastructure across emirates is also being upgraded to ease congestion. Road safety is a shared responsibility is the message from road authorities. At the federal level, all efforts are being taken to protect the lives is road users and make travel an enjoyable experience.

Authorities hope to reduce traffic casualties from about 6 per 100,000 people to 3 per 100,000. A positive road culture is the goal. Let's work towards it.

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