Motorcyclists most vulnerable on UAE roads
According to motorcycle delivery riders, only 57 per cent of their customers would "understand" if they are running a bit late.
Figures from a recent study to validate the road safety perceptions of motorcycle delivery riders in the UAE are both revealing and daunting.
Around eight out of 10 motorists don't use their indicators when changing lanes, making it difficult for motorcycle riders to anticipate their moves. Similary, eight out of 10 motorists cut in front or behind motorcycle riders; 68 per cent of motorists are inconsiderate and don't seem to see motorcycle riders properly on the roads; while 56 per cent of motorcycle riders drive recklessly and dangerously.
"Motorcycle riders are amongst the most vulnerable road users and hence it is important to understand their perceptions and fears in order to work on improvement potentials," Thomas Edelmann, founder and managing director of RoadSafetyUAE, told Khaleej Times on Monday. "There is just no steel around them to protect them and we see a growing number of delivery riders on UAE's roads. We want to raise awareness via this pioneering delivery rider perception survey.
"The results provide a clear call to action. Drivers in cars and heavy vehicles should show a respectful and caring attitude towards delivery riders," Edelmann added.
RoadSafetyUAE conducted a survey last month, among 222 motorcycle riders from a leading fast food restaurant and local and international logistics companies.
The riders were asked about their perception of the behaviour of car drivers; their own driving behaviour; attitude of their customers towards road safety; and the safety training they have received. When asked of their own driving behaviour, 94 per cent of the motorcycle delivery riders said they knew exactly what their respective companies expect from them: to drive safely. 92 per cent replied positively that they are safe drivers. However, 19 per cent of them had been involved in road accidents in the past 12 months.
Another pressing issue revealed in the survey is the level of customer awareness on road safety.
According to motorcycle delivery riders, only 57 per cent of their customers would "understand" if they are running a bit late and only 51 per cent of the customers are "concerned" about their safety.
Because of this, 56 per cent of motorcycle riders tend to drive recklessly and dangerously.
"Safety must be the number one concern, also for customers awaiting their food or other deliverables," Edelmann underlined.
"We found the riders' perceptions quite shocking."
These and other findings of the RoadSafetyUAE survey are truly insightful and it invites all UAE delivery fleets to take part in the survey, for their own benefit.
On a positive note, 87 per cent of motorcycle delivery riders are 'happy' with the quality of their bikes; while 71 and 69 per cent are 'happy' with the maintenance of their bikes and with their protective gears respectively.
Moreover, 91 per cent of delivery bikers are satisfied with the initial training they received at the time of joining a company and 86 per cent are happy with their continuous safety training.
"Our responsibility does not end by providing the best and safest bikes. We also have an obligation to raise awareness amongst other road users to the dangers these riders face each and every day," said Fardeen Sara, general manager at Al Futtaim Honda.
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