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Mobile driving: Only 25% of UAE residents don't do it

Staff Reporter/Dubai
Filed on November 17, 2016 | Last updated on November 17, 2016 at 05.02 am
Mobile driving: Only 25% of UAE residents dont do it

Majority of the drivers use mobile phones for incoming calls, and many even use it to make outgoing calls.

Distracted driving is among the top causes of accidents, injuries and death on UAE’s roads according to Frederik Bisbjerg and (righ), Thomas Edelmann. —Supplied photo

RoadSafetyUAE and QIC Insured released the findings of the recent YouGov research on Wednesday.

Just a couple of months after Khaleej Times did a series of news reports highlighting the risks of talking on the phone while driving, a survey has found that an alarming 74 per cent of UAE motorists use their mobile phones while driving one way or another.

The number of respondents who text while driving are also significant, with 19 per cent saying they scan incoming messages while driving and 14 per cent actually text.

RoadSafetyUAE and QIC Insured released the findings of the recent YouGov research on Wednesday.

Why you shouldn't text while driving?

> Manual distraction (taking hands off the wheel)

> Visual distraction (taking eyes off the road)

> Distraction of the mind (taking your attention off the road)

> Auditory distraction (taking your ears away from traffic sounds)

Thomas Edelmann, founder and managing director of RoadSafety UAE, said: "It is alarming to see that only 26 per cent of motorists 'never' use their mobile while driving. Distracted driving is among the top causes of accidents, injuries and death on UAE's roads and the use of mobile phones behind the wheel is one of the major sources of distraction."

According to the research, the most vulnerable ones are the 25 to 29 year-olds and Sharjah residents. About 74 per cent of the respondents use mobile phones for incoming calls, and 43 per cent for outgoing calls.

An interesting statistic is that older drivers respond mostly to incoming calls, while younger drivers tend to make more outgoing calls and messages.

Frederik Bisbjerg, executive vice-president MENA retail, QIC Insured, said: "We are proud to be associated with this behaviour study, as it demonstrates the efforts of QIC Insured to actively support the creation of safer roads. For UAE's motorists, we have a very clear message: When driving, put your mobile phone on silent and put it away. No call or message can be so important to handicap your own safety, the safety of your passengers and the safety of other traffic participants around you!"

Edelman added: "To improve the situation, the UAE needs ongoing education efforts, the creation and promotion of safe driving mobile phone applications (including an auto-mute function) and a strict enforcement of the current rules and regulations with regards to the ban of mobile phones while driving. We appeal to all UAE traffic participants to obey to the above statement of Frederik Bisbjerg of QIC Insured."

The fieldwork for the YouGov study was done with a representative sample of 1,033 residents living in all seven emirates of the UAE.

SURVEY FINDINGS

> 6% respondents use phones every time they drive; 14% use it on more than 50% of their drives

> 74% use phones to receive incoming calls

> 14% text while driving

> 9% use social media platforms

> 11% respondents do not have any kind of hands-free devices

> 35% of respondents who hold the phone despite having hands-free devices say they do so because it's easier to use that way

reporters@khaleejtimes.com


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