Dubai: If you’ve lived in the UAE for long enough, then you would have most likely come across motorists with rowdy children jumping on the backseat of cars.
In such cases, its clear that the children are not strapped to a child seat.
In a recent survey carried out by RoadSafetyUAE and QIC Insured, it was found that one-third of parents do not have child seats in their cars.
The study of more than 1,000 UAE residents was carried out in February 2017, which also revealed reasons why their children are not buckled up.
The majority of respondents, at 29 per cent, said that child seats are too expensive, while 28 per cent said that their children do not like to be strapped in child seats or booster cushions.
As many as 25 per cent said they do not know which child seat to purchase, 15 per cent thought that young children are as safe in the hands of passengers as they would be in a child seat, with 15 per cent saying that child seats are not necessary for motorists who drive carefully.
A worrying 11 per cent said that child seats do not protect children in the case of an emergency, seven per cent cited religious reasons and five per cent said that child seats were not part of their culture.
Thomas Edelmann, founder and managing director of RoadSafetyUAE, said: “The poor behaviour 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, 34 per cent of respondents with children said they did not install booster cushions.
Among Emirati motorists, a staggering 47 per cent did not have proper child seats, in addition to 42 per cent of young parents between 18 and 29 years old.
The statistics were then broken down into nationality, and the survey further revealed that 27 per cent of Arab expats did not have proper seats for their children, 33 per cent Asians, 14 per cent Western, and another 34 per cent were classified as Others.
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 of them always prompt their children to use them and to buckle up.
The study 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).