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A traffic accident on Shaikh Zayed Road happened because of sudden swerving, according to Dubai Police. For illustrative purposes only. Image Credit: Dubai Police/GN Archives

Dubai: When it comes to safe driving habits, the majority of younger motorists seem to break all the rules.

A study published in the UAE revealed that 18-24 year old drivers do not follow traffic rules related to speeding, tailgating, seatbelts, use of indicators and distracted driving.

According to statistics provided by the UN, the “young novice driver segment is greatly overrepresented in crash and traffic fatality statistics. They pose a greater risk to themselves, their passengers and other road users”.

Global death rates also doubled for those between the ages of 18 and 24 years than those of older, and more experienced, drivers.

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The survey, which was carried out by RoadSafetyUAE among 1,007 respondents, also found that 56 per cent of young drivers said they used an indicator “almost every time”, while 57 per cent said they were always focused on the roads, and 17 per cent said they did not wear seat belts because it wrinkled their clothes.

Thomas Edelmann, managing director of RoadSafetyUAE said: “Simply put, young drivers behave more dangerously and protect themselves less than older and more experienced motorists. Young drivers are significantly more distracted, tailgate more, use their indictors and their seat belts less than the average motorist.”

Research indicated the reasons for speeding and tailgating included running late, as well as a lack of a caring attitude.

The other causes for their reckless behavior, such as not using the indicator lights, “were out of habit or not wanting to appear inexperienced, less demanding towards passengers and children to use their seat belts, which is coupled with a significantly lower level of knowledge about the new seat belt law,” said Edelmann.

5 causes of accidents for 18-24 years old

1. Use of indicators

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Image Credit: Virendra Saklani/Gulf News

Use an indicator almost every time it is required: 56% Vs 67% of total driving population

Reasons for not using an indicator:

The traffic around me demands my full attention, so I cannot think of using an indicator: 31% Vs 23%

I don’t indicate out of habit: 28% Vs 16%

It is a sign of inexperience to indicate: 25% Vs 15%

2. Speeding

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Running late: 72% Vs 67% of total driving population

Knowledge of speed camera locations: 53% Vs 39%

To test car’s abilities and speed: 30% Vs 22%

3. Seat belt use

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Members of a family fastening seat belts in their car. Image Credit: Ahmed Ramzan/Gulf News

As a driver, I always use my seat belt: 62% Vs 72% of total driving population

Sitting next to the driver, I always use my seat belt: 65% Vs 73%

Sitting in the back seat, I always use my seat belt: 20% Vs 27%

When driving a car, I always ask my passengers to use their seat belt: 46% Vs 56%

On short trips, it is not needed to wear seat belts: 42% Vs 32%

I am a safe driver and do not need seat belts: 19% Vs 17%

Seat belts crinkle my clothes: 17% Vs 11%

I am aware of the new seat belt laws in the UAE: 71% Vs 82%

4. Distracted driving

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I am always fully focused behind the wheel: 57% Vs 66% of total driving population

I occasionally get distracted from my driving: 38% Vs 29%

5. Tailgating

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I regularly tailgate: 7% Vs 4% of total driving population

I never tailgate: 51% Vs 59%

I tailgate because I am running late: 32% Vs 23%

When I tailgate, I don’t care how the driver of the vehicle in front feels: 16% Vs 11%