Dubai: While motorists applaud the government’s efforts in further improving the road infrastructure, residents say that UAE roads are more dangerous now than six months ago, according to a recent survey.

A study commissioned by Qatar Insurance Company (QIC) and RoadSafetyUAE has revealed that 65 per cent of respondents, nearly two thirds, reported that their commute has become longer when compared to six months ago, with a lucky 19 per cent enjoying a quicker drive to work.

Frederik Bisbjerg, executive vice president MENA Retail, QIC Insured, said: “We are proud to be associated with this unique long term perception study, as it provides hard facts for us and all concerned stakeholders to work in the right direction with regards to facilitating the ambitious targets set out for road safety in the government’s ‘UAE Vision 2021’. Furthermore, it supports the efforts of QIC Insured to actively support the creation of safer roads.”

The UAE Road Safety Monitor report further found that 79 per cent reported that road infrastructure has improved in the last six months, representing an increase of 11 per cent since 2015.

Meanwhile, 51 per cent of respondents said they now enjoyed driving on the UAE’s roads more than six months ago, compared to 24 per cent who enjoy it less.

Driving culture

Despite an improvement in road facilities, the driving culture remains a challenge across the nation.

As many as 56 per cent of motorists believe the UAE’s roads have become more dangerous in the last six months, compared with only 22 per cent who say they have become safer. The main concern of respondents surrounded the driving behavior of young drivers between the ages of 18 and 24, while only 45 per cent of that age group stating that driving has become more dangerous, compared to 57 per cent in 2015.

67 per cent of total respondents said they witnessed more speeding vehicles on the roads in the last six months, with 64 per cent reporting more tailgating, 79 per cent saw more distracted driving and 69 per cent more abrupt lane changing.  

Fines and accidents

In the last six months, 19 per cent of respondents were involved in traffic accidents and 24 per cent received traffic fines.

Thomas Edelmann, founder and managing director of RoadSafetyUAE, said: “Despite comprehensive efforts to enhance and improve our roads, the irresponsible behaviour of significant numbers of motorists remains a stubborn challenge. The abrupt changing of lanes, tailgating, speeding and distracted driving are top killers on our roads and yet all are entirely preventable.”

“The UAE authorities are doing their part to make our roads safer and more efficient; it is now the turn of the country’s drivers to fulfil their end of the bargain. We need to raise the awareness for proper conduct on our roads by permanent, meaningful and relevant means of communication and education,” he said.