Picture used for illustrative purposes only. Image Credit: Gulf News archives

Whether you have been driving on UAE roads for many years or have just received your driving licence, there are some practices that you should steer clear of, according to Dubai’s Roads and Transport Authority (RTA).

In its handbook for light motor vehicle learners, the authority states: “The way we drive may show how we think and behave. When driving, some behaviours are dangerous and unacceptable.”

Here is a look at 10 driving behaviours that you should avoid and why:

1. Driving too fast for the situation. It gives you very little time to react to avoid a crash.

2. Tailgating or driving too close to the vehicle in front of you. This usually causes other drivers to get distracted or tense up or suddenly change lanes, which increases the risk of a crash.

3. Flashing headlights or honking to intimidate other drivers. It creates tension among other drivers on the road.

4. Cutting-in in front of other drivers or jumping the queue just to get a few meters ahead. This causes annoyance among other drivers and aggravates the traffic situation.

5. Not using the indicator when changing lanes - it increases the risk of a crash, as other drivers are not prepared for the unexpected lane change.

6. Driving slowly in the fast lane - this practice is equally dangerous as speeding, as it requires other drivers in the fast lane to hit the brakes on their cars, or change lanes to avoid the slow vehicle. “Always use the slow lane and use the fast lane only when overtaking,” RTA states.

7. Ignoring priority rules – this refers to the behaviour where;
• drivers disregard signs that state ‘Give way’ or ‘Stop’,
• drivers disregard existing traffic on the road, like the speed and position of other motorists, when they enter the road,
• drivers ignore the presence of pedestrians crossing the road.

8. Intentionally speeding up or blocking other drivers, who are indicating a turn or change in direction. This causes tension among drivers.

9. Using a mobile phone while driving, even with a hands-free kit. This reduces your concentration from the task of driving. This lack of attention may also cause the car to slow down or speed up, drift across lanes or make sudden turns without indicating.

10. Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. “There is zero tolerance for drink driving in Dubai. You risk being fined, jailed or your licence being confiscated and your vehicle impounded. You also compromise your safety and the safety of others,” the handbook states.