What’s the No.1 cause of road deaths in the UAE?

By Eudore R. Chand

DUBAI 7 October 2019: A nuisance observed daily on UAE roads is the stubborn non-use of indicators. Regardless if motorists change lanes, merge onto highways, exit highways, turn at T-junctions or 4-way junctions or exit roundabouts, very often this happens without the use of indicators.

Even fines of Dh200 in Abu Dhabi (+ 3 black points) or Dh400 in Dubai don’t act as a deterrent.

In a non-representative ‘behind the wheel’ study conducted by RoadSafetyUAE, based on more than 5,000 observed maneuvers on UAE roads between February and June 2019, in 47% of instances the indicators were not used. The non-use transcends all types or roads, as well as private and commercial vehicles like taxis and limos.

Especially when passengers get transported, it is very difficult to understand why commercial drivers frequently break the law and endanger their passengers by not conducting such an easy act of road safety. Fleet operators are encouraged to train their drivers and engage with them in order to make them role models for proper conduct. This will then rub-off to drivers of private vehicles and hence will improve the use of indicators overall.

“As always in road safety, it is up to us – the drivers – to lead by example and to display a caring attitude towards ourselves and everyone around us. It’s the law to use the indicator so let’s just do it!”, states Thomas Edelmann, Managing Director of RoadSafetyUAE.

• About half of all lane changes and turns happen without indicating
• Fines are Dh200/3points (Abu Dhabi) Dh400 (Dubai)
• Non-use transcends all types or roads, private vehicles, commercial vehicles like taxis and limos
• Main ingredient to #1 cause of death, ie. sudden changing of lane

“It was interesting to observe in our ‘behind the wheel’ study, that the use of indicators seems to be ‘infectious’! Meaning, that if one vehicle actually does use the indicators, suddenly you see many other vehicles around also using their indicators, which is very encouraging and it substantiates the statement that we all have to lead by example!”, Edelmann adds.

The lack of indicator use is not only a nuisance and a sign of poor road habits and impolite behavior, but it can also be dangerous when motorists don’t indicate to other where they want to move. The non-use of indicators is a major ingredient to sudden lane change / lane swerving which once again was the leading cause of death in the UAE in 2018, killing 59 people and causing major injuries to 495, according to official data published earlier.

Tips & tricks for proper indicator use:

• Bear in mind, that non-use of indicators is a main ingredient to the #1 Killer on our roads!
• Using your indicator is a basic rule of road safety (non-use carries fines and black points!)
• Using your indicator shows good manners – it’s basic etiquette to signal where you intend to go!
• Protect yourself, your passengers and other
• Make it a habit to always use your indicator
• Start indicating a few seconds before you actually move, to make others aware
• Check in front & around you – check mirrors – indicate before your move – look over your left shoulder – then maneuver!
• When you see somebody else indicating, be polite and caring and allow them to move
• Indicate always when you want to:
o Change lanes
o Take a turn or exit/enter a highway
o Exit a roundabout
o Pull out of a parking slot