Rush-hour traffic on a Dubai road. Image Credit: Ahmed Ramzan/Gulf News

Dubai: Eight out of ten motorists in the UAE start their trips late. Consequently, eight out of ten drivers running late are more likely to speed; 59 per cent or six of them are more likely to tailgate; 50 per cent of those running late show less consideration towards other road users; and half of them are more likely to drive distracted.

Young drivers in the age group of 18-34 years are more likely to misbehave on the road. They either do it ‘almost every time’ and ‘often’ in the categories of running late, speeding, tailgating, showing less consideration towards others and distracted driving.

These are the findings from a recent survey commissioned by RoadSafetyUAE and Volkswagen. The study revealed “majority of UAE motorists claim to start their trips late”.

Thomas Edelmann

"From earlier studies about the main causes of reckless driving, the hypothesis crystallised that ‘running late’ is the root cause behind much of UAE motorists’ misbehaviour on the roads," Thomas Edelmann said.

Edelmann, who is the founder and managing director of RoadSafetyUAE, added: “The new and vital study looking into all the dimensions of ‘running late’ is of critical importance to understand the consequences and the ‘quick-fix’ solution for poor time management or ‘running late’.”

Detrimental effect

“The simple fact of ‘running late’ has such a detrimental effect on our safety, that we had the urge to understand more about it,” underlined Edelmann, adding: “It is of great significance that we bring these insights in front of our motorists, for them to reflect on their time management, for them to understand the dire consequences of ‘running late’ and for them to apply the easy and free-of-cost fix of ‘starting early’.”

Simple solution

Starting road trips late causes motorists to speed, tailgate, be less considerate towards others and drive distracted. But the solution is simple: Start early.

The same study revealed that 82 per cent thought leaving ten minutes early would mean one would drive more safely; and 57 per cent thought arriving early benefitted them by ‘being calmer/less stressed’.

Moreover, 56 per cent thought arriving early would make them ‘more prepared before their meeting’; 29 per cent would use the time to check for updates on their mobile phone; 25 per cent would go for a quick coffee; and 21 per cent would call someone.

“It is absolutely not rocket science and motorists themselves do understand the power of the ‘easy fix’! A staggering 82 per cent think that ‘starting early’ would mean more safety! Motorists also clearly understand the benefits of arriving early,” Edelmann underlined.

He added: “What is holding us back? We must reflect on this root cause of ‘running late’, which causes so much pain on our roads. It is so easy and it does not cost anything. We would like to see all involved stakeholders like government entities, the media, corporations and the education sector to focus on awareness-creating initiatives around ‘Start your road trip early!’”

Safety is top priority

Victor Dalmau

The survey commissioned by Volkswagen and RoadSafetyUAE with a UAE representative had a sample of 1,006 respondents. It was conducted by a global online market research agency.

Victor Dalmau, managing director at Volkswagen Middle East, noted: “Safety is, and will always be, our top priority. Therefore, we feel that, beyond producing cars with the latest technology on active and passive safety features, our responsibility is also to make drivers really aware of the importance of safe driving and helping them to achieve it.”

Read more

Key findings

The problem:

80% of drivers admit to start their trips late (only 20% ‘never’ start early).

80% of those running late are more likely to speed.

59% of those running late are more likely to tailgate.

50% of those running late show less consideration to other road users.

50% of those running late are more likely to drive distracted.

Easy fix:

82% think leaving ten minutes early would mean you would drive more safely.

57% think arriving early benefits them by ‘being calmer/less stressed’.

56% think arriving early means to be ‘better-prepared before their meeting’.

29% would use the spare time to check for updates on their mobile phone.

25% would go for a quick coffee.

21% would call someone.