UAE: Commutes ‘taking longer’, involvement in accidents at ‘all-time high’, reveals study

However, there are some positive trends, such as respondents witnessing tailgating going down by 4%

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Ashwani Kumar

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Published: Mon 22 Jan 2024, 3:05 PM

Last updated: Tue 23 Jan 2024, 1:21 PM

Commute by road to the workplace is taking longer than before in the UAE and involvement in accidents is at a new high, a study revealed.

The 10th cycle of the ‘UAE Road Safety Monitor’ study was commissioned by Al Wathba Insurance jointly with RoadSafetyUAE, and conducted by YouGov. This edition, the first done after the Covid-19 pandemic, has thrown a mix of positive and negative road safety trends compared with the previous cycle done in 2020.

As many as 56 per cent of respondents of the roughly 1,000 surveyed (a 4 per cent increase from last time) said their commute to work by road took longer. When asked about their involvement in a vehicle collision in the past six months, a staggering 32 per cent said ‘yes’ — a 7 per cent surge up from the 2020 cycle. This puts the number at an all-time high since the first study done in 2015 when it was 20 per cent.

However, there were positive signs of good practices being followed by motorists.

The percentage of respondents who have witnessed tailgating has gone down by 4 per cent to 58 per cent. Distracted drivers were seen by 62 per cent of respondents, which is 9 per cent less than last time. Respondents who noticed vehicles changing lanes abruptly and without indicating on the roads dipped by 4 per cent to 61 per cent.

There was a strong appreciation for road infrastructure improvement at 83 per cent, albeit with a slight dip of 1 per cent. Also, a record high of 71 per cent, up 8 per cent from than previous cycle, said they enjoyed driving on the roads.

Thomas Edelmann, founder and managing director of RoadSafetyUAE, underlined that there has been a recurring pattern over the 10 cycles of the study.

“On the one hand, the government continues to improve the traffic infrastructure, which is greatly appreciated by the respondents. On the other hand, road users’ behaviour continues to be a challenge. Even though we observe positive trends with regards to reckless driving in this latest cycle, the absolute levels of these dimensions are still very high and must be lowered,” he said stressing how motorists need to be alert on the road.

“It takes two to tango. The UAE motorists who appreciate the ever-better road infrastructure must recognise their responsibility and they must pro-actively contribute by improving their behaviour in displaying a more caring and safety-centered attitude behind the wheel,” Edelmann noted.

Compared to the earlier cycle, there was relatively no change in respondents feeling traffic becoming more dangerous (45 per cent) and them seeing more vehicles speeding (63 per cent).

The study will be repeated every six months with the next cycle planned for the second half of this year.

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