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UAE motorists ‘enjoy’ their road commutes as safety improves: Study

UAE motorists ‘enjoy’ their road commutes as safety improves: Study
23 Jan 2024 08:41

ALLAN JACOB (ALETIHAD)


The UAE has some of the safest and best roads in the world and motorists are enjoying their commutes, according to a new survey which said that the road infrastructure and network in the country has received a big thumbs up from users.

The 10th edition of the “UAE Road Safety Monitor” study showed residents are very appreciative of the road infrastructure improvements undertaken by traffic authorities across the emirates. It’s at an all-time high for “driving enjoyment” (71%) and near all-time high for “road safety improvement”, at 83%, according to the survey of motorists who love being on the UAE’s roads.

Though reckless driving incidents have fallen, it still remains a concern, according to the respondents, who felt “accident involvement” (32%) is high.

Many also said commute times have gone up (56%).

The study, that was conducted in January, was commissioned by Al Wathba Insurance jointly with non-profit RoadSafetyUAE, and was conducted by YouGov (representative UAE sample n=1,001).

Many motorists also said traffic has become more dangerous (45%) and speeding is a cause of concern (63%). A majority of drivers were of the view that tailgating is common (58%, and they had a high negative perception of distracted drivers (62%) and lane swerving (61%).

Thomas Edelmann, Founder and Managing director of RoadSafetyUAE, speaking to Aletihad said road users’ behaviour continues to be a challenge even as the government and traffic authorities are rapidly improving road safety systems and infrastructure.

“Over the 10 cycles of this unique study, we have seen a recurring pattern. On the one hand, the government continues to improve the traffic infrastructure, which is greatly appreciated by the respondents. On the other hand, the road users’ behaviour continues to be the 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! It takes two to tango,” he said.

While UAE motorists appreciate better roads, they must be responsible and improve their driving behaviour to keep themselves and fellow motorists safe, according to Edelmann.

Onus is on Road Users

“Yes, the absolute levels of reckless driving are still too high, but the trends (vs the previous cycle; vs all time highs) are promising,” said Edelmann, who has been championing road safety in the UAE with traffic authorities for over decade now.

He said people must “pro-actively contribute by improving their behaviour in displaying a more caring and safety-centred attitude behind the wheel”.

“This unique perception study provides valuable feedback about the impact of the involved stakeholders’ efforts aimed at increasing road safety,” said Frederik Bisbjerg, CEO Al Wathba Insurance.

“We participated in this study because we believe that gathering and communicating these indicators to the public will positively influence behavior and eventually decrease road accidents,” he added.

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