Cars tailgating on Shaikh Zayed Road in Dubai. Image Credit: Zarina Fernandes /Gulf News

Dubai: Tailgating on the roads is not a rare sight in the UAE, and despite repeated warnings by police, motorists continue this kind of dangerous behavior.

A recent study commissioned by RoadSafetyUAE and QIC Insured has found out some of the main reasons for tailgating in the UAE. The survey, conducted by YouGov, was carried out between August 21-28, 2017 year among 1,010 UAE residents.

The main reasons for tailgating, according to respondents, were slow drivers, running late, or being unaware of traffic rules.  

Thomas Edelmann, managing director of RoadSafetyUAE, said: “The majority of UAE motorists recognise the dangers of tailgating, however only 59 per cent never tailgate. Tailgaters blame slower vehicles in front or their own ‘running late’ for their offensive behaviour.”

Gulf News previously reported that police said that 38 people died last year for not leaving safe distance between vehicles, while in 2017, 14 people lost their lives and 151 sustained injuries because of tailgating during the first quarter of 2017.

Dubai Police registered 21,846 traffic offences against motorists for not leaving safe distance between vehicles during the first quarter of 2017. Last year, Dubai Police issued 77,137 fines to motorists for tailgating.

The fine for not leaving safe distance between vehicles is Dh400 and 4 black points.

The survey also discovered that as many as 43 per cent of motorists said they did know the official safety distance.  

The recommended safety distance between vehicles is 56 metres at 100 km/h but only 24 per cent of respondents knew the correct distance, with 22 per cent of motorists who thought that keeping a distance of one car length was enough.

“There is little empathy for the ones getting tailgated, despite the fact that tailgaters are well aware of the stress and distraction they cause. Most of those being tailgated just want to move out of the way and they admit getting nervous by tailgating,” he said.

UAE motorists, however, see education as the main opportunity to improve the behaviour, followed by more police presence and enforcement, as well as by in-vehicle technology and higher fines.

Young drivers scored the lowest scores, as they claimed to tailgate others more due to being on a tight schedule, and running late. The findings also indicated that young drivers have less empathy with the ones they tailgate, and show the least willingness to get out of the way when they get tailgated themselves.

Reactions of being tailgated

36% of motorists who get tailgated just want to move out of the way of tailgaters

25% of motorists who get tailgated get nervous by it

9% of motorists who get tailgated don’t mind it