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

Dubai: The majority of UAE motorists feel there is an increase in tailgating on the roads, a RoadSafetyUAE survey has found.

YouGov conducted the survey in August to measure perceptions of UAE motorists for the last six months and is based on responses of a representative sample of more than 1,000 residents.

Thomas Edelmann, RoadSafetyUAE’s founder and managing director, said that with the results of three cycles of the UAE Road Safety Monitor, one in 2015 and two in 2016, “we are now in the position to start identifying trends of the perceived behaviour of UAE motorists, and not only snap shots.

“The only worrying trend that people said they perceive more than before was tailgating, with 69 per cent of respondents indicating that they have noticed an increase from six months ago”.

Brigadier Saif Muhair Al Mazroui, director of Dubai Traffic Police, said tailgating remains one of the top causes of accidents and one of the most frequent violations committed by motorists in Dubai.

“Tailgating also affects visibility and the ability to control the vehicle, which all has a negative impact on the reaction time,” he said

He said this remains an issue even after multiple awareness campaigns. “Some people think it is OK to tailgate because they are not hurting anybody. However, that is not true because if the car in front of you stops and you have not left enough space, you will not have time to stop the vehicle and you’ll crash.”

In the first months of 2016, tailgating was the second leading cause of accidents, with 286 accidents, resulting in 254 injuries and 21 deaths. In the same period last year, tailgating caused 288 accidents, resulting in 185 injuries and 17 deaths.

The UAE Road Safety survey also showed 78 per cent of the respondents feel that the road infrastructure has improved compared to six months ago, leading to shorter commute times (63 per cent) and higher driving enjoyment (53 per cent).

Fifty-five per cent of the respondents agreed that traffic on the roads was dangerous, which is almost the same figure from the previous years.

However people perceived a decrease in distracted driving, 75 per cent in this survey from 79 per cent in the previous one; abrupt changing of lanes, 66 per cent from 69 per cent last survey; and speeding went down to 65 per cent from 67 per cent.

Edelmann said, “it is very important to track these trends as they shall help all involved stakeholders in the public and private segments as one feedback tool for their various education, enforcement and infrastructure initiatives.”