UAE cautions against distracted driving as 1 in 3 motorists on phones

The dangers of driving while distracted are highlighted by the 85 deaths in 2022, which highlights the need for increased awareness and strict adherence to safety protocols to avoid traffic accidents.

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Road safety experts in the UAE caution against the prevalent practice of mobile phone usage while driving, emphasizing its potential to cause accidents and fatalities. Notably, data from the Ministry of Interior underscores that distracted driving, particularly due to mobile phone use, has claimed numerous lives on the roads.

A recent survey commissioned by RoadSafetyUAE and Al Wathba Insurance reveals concerning trends among motorists. While 90% acknowledge the hazards of distracted driving, only 81% claim to maintain full focus on the road. This discrepancy highlights the prevalence of distracted driving, despite awareness of its risks.

The survey delves deeper into demographic variations, revealing that certain groups, such as young drivers aged 19–24 and Arab and Western expats, exhibit lower levels of concentration while driving. Thomas Edelmann, founder of RoadSafetyUAE, stresses the imperative for all motorists to remain fully attentive behind the wheel, urging reflection on sources of distraction and their implications for road safety.

A key solution proposed by respondents is the simple act of switching off or silencing mobile phones while driving, with 77% attesting to its effectiveness in enhancing concentration. Muralikrishnan Raman, Chief Finance and Operations Officer of Al Wathba Insurance, emphasizes the importance of collective efforts to promote this practice, urging stakeholders to leverage their influence to address distracted driving.

Additionally, the survey sheds light on other causes of distracted driving, ranging from navigation systems to reaching for objects in the car. External factors such as the behavior of other drivers and complex road systems also contribute to distractions on the road.

Apart from mobile phone management, respondents cite speed limiters, the presence of speed cameras, and navigation systems as measures that aid concentration while driving. However, despite these measures, the overarching message remains clear: vigilance and responsible behavior behind the wheel are paramount for ensuring road safety and preventing accidents caused by distractions.

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