The car safety campaign is aimed at encouraging parents to buckle up their children in child car seats while driving. Image Credit: Gulf News Archives

Dubai: If you’re a UAE resident, then this case scenario will be a familiar one: drivers who let their young children stand on the seat, or even worse, have their heads outside the car window.

It's obvious that these motorists do not own a child seat, and now we know why. 

RoadSafetyUAE and QIC Insured carried out a survey in February 2017 of more than 1,000 UAE residents, and found that one third of parents do not have child seats in their cars.

Why UAE motorists do not own child seats

Too expensive 29%

My kids don't like to be strapped in child seats or booster cushions 28%

I don't know which child seat or booster cushion to buy for my kid 25%

Passengers holding kids is as safe as child seats or booster cushions 15%

I am a safe driver and I will not be involved in an accident, so I don't need seat belts 15%

Child seats or booster cushions do not protect kids in the case of an accident 11%

Religious reasons 7%

It is not part of our culture 5%

Thomas Edelmann, Founder and Managing Director of RoadSafetyUAE, said: “The poor behavior of adults translates into poor habits to protect our children. We see one third of motorists failing to provide proper restraint systems for their kids and the identified reasons need to be addressed. It is of key importance to educate parents about the undebatable benefits of proper children restraint systems.”

According to the survey, of those motorists with children, an alarming number of 34 per cent do not have child seats or booster cushions.

Among Emirati motorists, a staggering 47 per cent do not have proper child seats, in addition to 42 per cent of young parents from 18-29 years old.

34% of motorists who do not have proper seats for their children

Nationality Percentage
Emirati 47
Arab expat 27
Asian 33
Western 14
Other 34


Frederik Bisbjerg, QIC Insured Executive Vice President, MENA Retail, said: “The implementation of the holistic UAE seat belt law as of July 1, 2017 is a big step towards more road safety for children, as proper child restraint systems will become mandatory. Besides parents, children must also be educated from a very early age about the protective powers of child seats, seat belts and booster cushions.”

The survey also found that while 66 per cent of drivers do use child seats, only 70 per cent always prompt their children to use them and to buckle up.

The survey discovered that the three main reasons for not using the available child seat is the wrong belief that they are not needed for short trips (37 per cent), children don’t like to be strapped in (32 per cent) and that safe driving does not require children to be buckled up (26 per cent).