UAE: Road deaths up by 3% in 2023 due to 'misbehaviour'

This year's data shows an 8 per cent decrease over the 381 fatalities recorded in 2021


Angel Tesorero

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Published: Fri 3 May 2024, 11:55 AM

Last updated: Sun 5 May 2024, 7:37 PM

The number of fatalities on UAE roads rose by 3% last year compared to 2022, with road safety experts blaming the increase in the accidents primarily on the "misbehaviour of road users."

The recently uploaded ‘open data’ on road safety statistics for 2023 by the Ministry of Interior (MOI) showed that there were 352 road fatalities across the country in 2023. This year's data showed a 3 per cent increase over the 343 deaths registered in 2022, but an 8 per cent decrease over the 381 fatalities recorded in 2021.

“The UAE continues its focused journey to reducing the number of fatalities on our roads,” Thomas Edelmann, founder and managing director of RoadSafetyUAE, told Khaleej Times on Friday.

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“Fatality numbers hover near the ‘all-time low’ which we witnessed in 2022. The long-term trend is remarkable, as the last time the UAE reported more than 1,000 traffic fatalities was in the year 2008 (1,072), resulting in a 67 per cent drop of road fatalities over the last 15 years,” Edelmann underscored.

He continued: “The strongest indicator in road safety is the number of fatalities, and as this number is hovering near the ‘all-time low’ – this is wonderful news. However, the rise in accidents and injuries is alarming, substantiating the need for a continued focus on road safety.”

A special focus on the vulnerable segment of young road users is urgent, Edelmann noted, adding: “There should be a focus on the segment of 19–29-year-olds where we see the biggest toll.”

According to the MOI data, 15 per cent of major accidents are caused by new driving license holders. “This calls for stakeholders to do their bit in raising awareness for safe conduct and we call on driving schools, universities, employers, and parents to be cognizant of their responsibilities,” said Edelmann.

He noted safe habits should be created as early as possible and already at kindergarten and school level, the driving school education could be revisited, staged driving licenses and monitoring technologies for novice drivers should be considered.

Road and weather conditions, meanwhile, are not to be blamed for the accidents. Out of 5,433 road injuries registered last year, 98 per cent happened on dry roads; while 99 per cent of the accidents happened during dry and clear weather.

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