Young drivers are at high risk when it comes to road safety. According to MOI data, 45% of all accidents are caused by young drivers. In the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, 63% of all traffic accidents were caused by young drivers, as well as 34% of all deaths in road accidents!
“The main causes for accidents within this age group are speeding, using phones behind the wheel and not keeping safe distance between cars,” states the MOI.
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There is a feeling of being invulnerable by young drivers when compared with older drivers, as our behaviour studies testify. It seems only with experience and when growing older, UAE’s motorists adjust their behavior and drive safer. Here are some selected data points from our surveys (also check out www.RoadSafetyUAE.com/statistics) – for young drivers (18-24 years):
- only 63% ‘always’ buckle up on the driver seat
- only 52% ‘always’ buckle up on the front-passenger seat
- only 7% ‘always’ buckle up on the back seat (in taxis, limos, in friends’ cars, etc.)
- only 34% of young drivers ask their passenger ‘always’ to buckle up
- only 29% ‘never’ use their mobile phone while driving
- only 56% ‘always’ use their indicator
- 72% claim ‘running late’ as reason for speeding
- 55% claim ‘showing off/to impress others’ as reasons for speeding
- 53% claim ‘I know the radar locations’ as reasons for speeding
International research shows, that the following facts contribute to young drive accidents:
- Peer pressure / Passenger distractions (up to 5x fatal crash risk!)
- Unaware of the danger of accidents
- Lack of experience
- Use of mobile phones
- Banned substances
- Bad habits picked up from parents
- Loud music
How to do it right:
BE AWARE that you are the ‘highest-risk’ group
Adhere to the RULES OF THE ROAD, especially with regards to:
- Wearing seat belts (ALL passengers, ALL times!)
- Obeying speed limits
- Keeping the proper distance to the car in front of you
- Always use the indicator
- Avoid banned substances
Fully CONCENTRATE and don’t get distracted by:
- Mobile Phone
- Loud Music
PASSENGERS: Avoid driving with (young) passengers, until you feel safe and have gained experience to take responsibility for the lives of others (take at least 6 months!)
Avoid driving at NIGHT
PARENTS are the biggest ‘influencers’ for safe driving of their kids, hence parents should:
- Ask their kids to take the safe driving pledge: http://www.roadsafetyuae.com/pledge-make-uae-roads-safer/
- Drive with their kids and help them drive safely
- Engage frequently about their early driving experiences
- Share safe driving tips&tricks
- Be involved and caring!
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I think we should put up a sign saying please do not use your phone while driving and maybe a bit info on how many people die every year. also i do not think increasing the fees for not driving properly because this depends on the driver like for e.g. rich people can afford it and because of that they might think it is okay and for people who are maybe late for need to get there quickly.
One could also consider impounding the mobile phone with sim card and a period of community service as a possible deterrent to using phones whilst driving.
I quite agree that fines may not work on some rich people but adding inconvenience to their life may bother them more than a fine.
First of all, allow me to thank Thomas and his team to work on making UAE roads a safer place. Driving in the UAE is a recurrent subject in any conversation within resident and local communities.
I’ve done some car rallyes in my life and drove many kilometres on many surfaces and what all this has taught me was humility.
I completely relate to the fact that Young Drivers have this feel of being invincible but my humble opinion is because they are not taught properly. A video, sadely, made me laugh when a driving educator was asking a student driver to drive AND text at the same time so that the student realized it was absolutely incompatible.
Most, if not all, governments diabolize speed but speed is not dangerous when you know how to do deal with it, when to do it and where to do it. And we are going back to education again where it is not enough shown how difficult it is to do an emergency braking at 60, 90 and 120km/h.
Driving is such a economic and political strategic issue starting with selling cars and everything that goes around it, that we prefer to level downwards rather than spending the time and effort to teach people well, making them developing the right reflexes AND accepting the fact that some, just can’t drive safely.
And here, I’m not necessarily making a car rallye pilot of every driver (even if, when you think about it, if you want safer roads…) but between how all driving schools are teaching and reaching the level of experience of a rallye pilote, I’m sure we could find a middle ground at least to make every young driver realize that driving is a serious “business” which need at all times a high level of concentration.
The other issue I see is that driving has become a given and a habit in the sense that drivers tend to not consider driving as seriously as it really is in terms of concentration demand. And that means when one drives one shouldn’t phone, shouldn’t smoke, shouldn’t eat, and shouldn’t do whatever drives his or her concentration away from driving.
Before taking about repression, I would strongly suggest to have a uniformed understanding of the traffic laws. I know the laws exist but I’m talking about drivers knowing them which would objectively be easier to follow.
A survey I would love to get is about how many versions of crossing a roundabout there would be depending on who you talk to. I would suspect to have as many versions as drivers you talk to.
Why should we assume that drivers from certain countries would be “better” than others? At least, before getting a driving license converted why not doing a thorough examination on the traffic laws? Then, and only then, you could organise some repression.
In a nutshell, driving is about bee taught the right responsibilized way, about propre driving skills and of course attitude. The problem is that driving skills are too often minimized counting too much on the responsibility and attitude of other drivers which as we see, is not enough.