UAE Road Safety Report
The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has seen a reduction in traffic fatalities, indicating positive progress in road safety. However, a recent report released by the Ministry of Interior (MOI) reveals a concerning increase in the overall number of accidents and injuries associated with road collisions across the country. The report presents the road safety statistics for the year 2022, shedding light on the current state of road safety in the UAE.
The Statistics: In 2022, there were 343 road fatalities reported throughout the UAE, marking a 10 percent decrease from the previous year’s figure of 381 deaths caused by road collisions. This reduction is particularly significant when compared to data from 13 years ago, as there has been a remarkable 68 percent drop in road fatalities since 2008, when the number of reported fatalities stood at 1,072.
However, despite the decline in traffic fatalities, there has been an overall increase in the number of serious traffic incidents. The report highlights that there were 3,945 major accidents in 2022, representing a 13 percent rise from the previous year’s figure of 3,488. Additionally, the number of injuries resulting from road accidents also increased, with 5,045 people reported as injured in 2022 compared to 4,377 in 2021, reflecting a rise of 15 percent.
Contributing Factors: The report identifies five key violations that are predominantly responsible for the fatalities and injuries on the UAE’s roads. These violations include distracted driving, sudden deviation, tailgating, driving under the influence of banned substances, negligence, and inattention. Remarkably, these five violations were found to be linked to 65 percent of the fatalities and 57 percent of the injuries recorded.
Furthermore, the report highlights that young road users below the age of 30 are the most vulnerable group, accounting for 41 percent of the fatalities and 53 percent of the injuries. This emphasizes the need for targeted measures to address the specific risks faced by young drivers.
Expert Commentary and Recommendations: Thomas Edelmann, the founder and managing director of RoadSafetyUAE, expressed his gratitude to the MOI for providing detailed road safety statistics for 2022. While acknowledging the positive decrease in fatalities, Edelmann also emphasized the alarming rise in accidents and injuries. He stressed the importance of maintaining a continued focus on road safety and addressing the five key violations identified in the report.
Edelmann urged both public and private stakeholders to contribute to improving the situation through engaging awareness campaigns and initiatives. He also suggested that schools and employers should play a vital role in shaping the road behavior of individuals under their influence. Additionally, he proposed further development of the legal framework and enforcement measures to reinforce road safety.
In light of the vulnerability of young road users, Edelmann emphasized the necessity of focusing on this particular segment. He recommended introducing safe habits at an early age, such as incorporating road safety education into kindergarten and school curricula. Furthermore, he suggested revisiting the driving school education system, considering staged driving licenses, and exploring monitoring technologies for novice drivers.
Other Traffic Violations and Regional Breakdown: Apart from the five key violations mentioned earlier, the report identified other significant traffic violations in 2022. These included red light violations, entering a road without checking its clearance, lack of lane discipline, and a general disregard for other road users.
The report also provided a breakdown of traffic accidents and incidents by emirate. Abu Dhabi reported 127 fatalities and 1,756 injuries, while Dubai recorded 120 fatalities and 2,161 injuries. Ras Al Khaimah accounted for 34 fatalities and 411 injuries, Sharjah reported 33 fatalities and 320 injuries, Ajman had 13 fatalities and 166 injuries, Umm Al Quwain reported 12 fatalities and 46 injuries, and Fujairah recorded four fatalities and 185 injuries.
Dangerous Time Periods: According to the report, evenings pose the highest risk for road users, with 37 percent of the fatalities and 40 percent of the injuries occurring during this time of day. Furthermore, weekends also require extra vigilance, as Saturdays and Sundays accounted for the highest number of fatalities and injuries, both at 16 percent respectively.
The Most Dangerous Months: The report revealed that March and January stood out as the most dangerous months in terms of combined fatalities and injuries, accounting for 11 percent and 10 percent of the total, respectively.
Conclusion: While the UAE has experienced a reduction in traffic fatalities over the years, the recent report highlights the need for renewed efforts to address the rising number of accidents and injuries. Stakeholders from various sectors are urged to contribute to road safety through awareness campaigns, initiatives, and improvements to the legal framework. By focusing on the five key violations and implementing targeted measures for young road users, the UAE can strive towards a safer and more secure road environment for all.