2,494 tickets were issued by Abu Dhabi Police during August and September in an effort to curb dangerous driving habits. Image Credit: Gulf News Archives

Abu Dhabi: Almost half of all road accidents that took place between 2009 and 2012 were caused by those aged 18-30 while the overall number of accidents, deaths and injuries decreased over the same period in the capital, statistics by the Ministry of Interior reveal.

The 18-30 age group was involved in the highest number of car accident injuries (41.80 per cent) during the four years, with swerving the main reason, according to Abu Dhabi Police.

“Around 22 per cent of road accidents in 2009-2012 were caused by swerving while lack of attention and negligence came in second at 12.72 per cent, and not leaving a sufficient safe distance between vehicles came in third,” a spokesperson at the Traffic Coordination Department at the Ministry of Interior said.

Other reasons included entering a main road without ensuring that it is clear, speeding, running a red light and changing lanes.

“Therefore, section 14 of the Federal Traffic Law was adjusted setting a penalty of no less than Dh20,000 in case of some violations and a minimum of Dh5,000 as a fine for driving without a licence,” he added.

The expert was speaking at the first International Youth and Road Safety Conference that was held in the capital on Wednesday.

“Currently traffic accidents are the leading cause of deaths among youth aged between 15-29, killing 1.24 million individuals worldwide annually. If the situation remains the same, and unless drastic measures are taken, the death rate is expected to go up to two million people per year in 2020,” Dr Haifa Madi, Director of Health Protection and Promotion in the World Health Organisation (WHO) Eastern Mediterranean Region Office, said at the conference.

Dr Madi also said that in addition to other high-income countries in the region, the UAE has seen positive results after authorities stepped in to tighten traffic rules.

“In coordination with the Ministry of Interior, Ministry of Health, transportation organisations and others a significant decrease in road accident deaths has been visible over the last few years in the UAE. I hope that our efforts will lead to saving the lives of five million people globally by 2020,” she added.