Abu Dhabi: Around 63 per cent of all traffic accidents during the past nine months of this year were caused by individuals aged 18-35, the Ministry of Interior said. The same age group accounted for around 34 per cent of all deaths in road accidents during the same period, according to Colonel Khamis Isaac Mohammad, Deputy Director, Traffic and Patrols Directorate.

The official revealed some of the main reasons behind these accidents: sudden swerving, failure to leave a safe distance between vehicles, speeding without taking road conditions into consideration, jumping red signals, lack of attention and recklessness.

Meanwhile, the capital’s flashless intersection cameras caught 21,851 vehicles jumping red signals during the same period this year, the ministry said. Officials urged drivers to reduce their speed when nearing intersections and to refrain from attempting to ‘catch’ signals before they turn red. In fact, jumping red signals accounted for 25 per cent of all major incidents during the first quarter of this year, as Gulf News previously reported.

The infrared cameras are capable of estimating a road’s average speed, recording license plate numbers and counting the number of pedestrians crossing the road and are considered one of many smart systems used by the ministry to provide information in real time to the Operations Room. This data can be used to also warn motorists via social media and other platforms in case of road incidents.

Statistics released earlier by Dubai Police stated that over one-fifth of accidents in the emirate were caused by individuals aged 18-25.

Ongoing programmes by the ministry aimed at raising the level of road awareness among the youth continue; 53.6 per cent of driving licence holders fall in the 18-30 age group in Abu Dhabi.

These educational initiatives have been condensed and are being transmitted through social media and lectures at universities and other facilities.

Other social activities of the ministry also aim to engage the role of families and communities in preventing tragic incidents caused by speeding, jumping red signals and lack of attention on the road, amongst others.

As part of the ministry’s comprehensive plan to limit these incidents, systems to monitor violators at intersections are also being further developed. In May, a decline in the number of accidents during the first quarter of this year in comparison to the same period last year, was reported. This was due to the mandatory enrollment of Emirati youths for military service.

The official also warned against the dangers of failing to check the speedometer when driving on a highway as drivers may lose control over their vehicle. They also must be capable of dealing with emergency situations on the road and driving over the speed limit prevents them from doing so in a timely manner, he said.

Finally, he urged parents to supervise their children and ensure that they follow road laws and to refrain from allowing them to drive if they do not possess the appropriate licence.