Such emphasis is being placed on Speeding as a major cause of accidents, but I feel it obscures the three top reasons that major accidents seem to occur in the UAE.
* Poor Lane Control
* Not giving way
* Driving too close to the car in front (Tailgating)
If more resources were spent on tackling these three things alone, rather than on installing speed cameras, (which merely generate revenue, but which do little to improve road safety), then I believe many more lives could be saved. I believe the mantra that “SPEED DOES NOT KILL. BAD DRIVING KILLS”, and it would be refreshing to see the police giving more attention to bad driving habits, than simply issuing speeding fines.
1) ADJUST your rear view mirrors and door mirrors properly before driving.
2) CHECK ALL your mirrors before changing lanes in either direction.
3) INDICATE your intention to change lanes AFTER checking your mirrors and ONLY IF the lane is clear.
4) CANCEL your indicator after the manoeuvre if it does not auto-cancel.
5) KEEP to the right most lane unless you are overtaking a slower vehicle, or preparing to enter a roundabout or turn left at the next junction.
6) THINK AHEAD and either adjust your speed or move to the middle lane to allow slower vehicles to return to the right most lane, or to join from a slip road.
7) STAY in your lane unless you overtake a slower vehicle in the same lane as you, or are returning to the Right lane.
8) RETURN to the right most lane immediately when your overtaking manoeuvre is completed.
9) DO NOT CHANGE LANES TO OVERTAKE ON THE RIGHT. Always overtake on the left unless your current lane is faster than the lane on your left. Note:
a) An overtaking manouevre is BOTH:
i) a change of lane, followed by
ii) passing a slower vehicle
10) YOU MAY PASS another vehicle without changing lanes ON EITHER SIDE, PROVIDING the traffic in that lane is slower than the traffic in your current lane.
11) PAY ATTENTION to your lane and do not cross the lane markings unless you are positively changing lanes.
12) DO NOT change lane on a SOLID white line (e.g. as marked on the road before junctions, or passing through tunnels or underpasses).
A special note on Roundabouts:
14) SELECT the CORRECT lane well BEFORE entering a roundabout.
a) Left Lane ONLY for turning around to go back the way you just came (a U-Turn, usually the 4th exit)
b) Left Lane for turning Left OR going Straight (usually the 2nd or 3rd exit)
c) Middle Lane ONLY for going Straight (usually the 2nd exit)
d) Right Lane going Straight OR for turning Right (usually the 1st exit)
15) EXIT the roundabout in the SAME LANE that you enter it.
16) Give way to any traffic on your LEFT who wishes to exit a roundabout. Traffic on your LEFT ALWAYS has priority on Roundabouts.
17) DO NOT enter a roundabout unless your lane is clear of traffic.
18) DO NOT PARK on ANY lane on a roundabout. Ever! …even though you may see the police do it all the time :-/
19) Official vehicles that MUST stop on a roundabout (e.g. for maintenance) should place CONES before the obstruction to close the lane all the way back to the previous junction AND also close off the RIGHT most lane of the previous junction for a distance of at least 10 metres before the junction.
Stopping Distance (Tailgating)
1) At any given speed, allow a sufficient stopping distance between you and the vehicle in front which is the equivalent of at least 2 seconds to react to that vehicle making an emergency stop.
a) 2 seconds is roughly counted as “One One Thousand, Two One thousand Stop!”
2) If another vehicle is tailgating you, maintain a constant speed and DO NOT change lanes UNTIL it is safe to do so using the ‘Mirror, Indicate, Manoeuvre’, technique in that order.
3) DO NOT ‘hog’ the overtaking lane. ALWAYS move back to the RIGHT most lane when it is safe to do so.
a) Do not “cruise” in any lane other than the right most lane.
b) The MIDDLE lane is for overtaking slower traffic in the RIGHT lane
c) The LEFT lane is for overtaking slower traffic in the MIDDLE lane
4) If you are cruising below the speed limit, ACCELERATE when overtaking a vehicle which is travelling at nearly the same speed as you.
a) Keeping within the speed limit, aim to pass another vehicle at least 10KPH faster than the speed it is travelling, otherwise you are blocking the overtaking lane.
5) If another vehicle is moving slower than you in the overtaking lane, you MAY flash your headlights to remind them to move over.
a) DO NOT approach the rear of their vehicle closer than the 2 second rule given in point 1) above.
b) DO NOT be tempted to change lanes to overtake on the right.
c) Consider moving back to the RIGHT most lane when it is safe to do so if a stubborn driver will not move over to let you pass. See also item 10 – Lane Control, above.
d) A stubborn driver that blocks the overtaking lane is legally in the WRONG.
BUT TAILGATING is VERY DANGEROUS and should always be avoided. BOTH drivers may be fined.
e) If a collision results from tailgating the car in front, then the car at the BACK is considered AT FAULT.
6) BE CONSIDERATE and PATIENT with other drivers. Not all drivers are as good as you, so be GENEROUS.
Right of Way
1) In general, traffic on your LEFT has PRIORITY in the absence of other road signs or directions.
2) STOP at a stop sign. The Stop sign has the same legal effect as a red light.
a) This includes whenever a stop sign is displayed in a SCHOOL BUS
b) “Stopping” means allow your wheels to come to a full stop and for you to rock back in your seat.
3) DO NOT OVERTAKE another vehicle that is stopped on a stop sign, or at a pedestrian crossing, or for a school bus.
4) DO NOT OVERTAKE vehicles that are slowing down for traffic calming measures (e.g. road humps).
5) DO NOT pull out in front of other traffic that would cause them to apply their brakes or take avoiding action.
a) Traffic that is on a major (main) road always has priority over traffic that is on a minor (side) road.
b) Traffic that is on a roundabout always has priority over traffic entering the roundabout
6) DO NOT REVERSE onto a road from a parking space or a junction. Traffic on the road ALWAYS HAS PRIORITY over joining traffic.