The latest edition of a comprehensive survey into driving and road safety habits across the UAE has been published and its findings, alas, make for uncomfortable reading – so much so indeed that everybody who gets behind the wheel on our roads should take a long and hard look at his or her actions. Sadly, despite all the investment in our road infrastructure, all the improvements to our modern vehicles, higher penalties for road infractions and increased active policing on our highways, the survey concludes that our roads are not getting any safer. Indeed, the results of latest survey suggest that there have been a reversal of safe driving on our roads. This survey should serve as a report card for every driver, and if a teacher was writing the summary of our recent efforts, it ought to conclude with the knuckle-rapping admonishment: We can do much better. Some 40 per cent of motorists surveyed responded that they felt our roads had become more dangerous, with some 60 per cent indicating that they had seen a recent increase in dangerous driving habits such as sudden lane changes – a major source of accidents.
Taken together, these two responses clearly show that there is a great deal of work needed to eliminate or reduce these perceptions. There is a clear message that has emerged from this key survey: We’re simply not taking enough care. That’s the only explanation why the survey found that 69 per cent of respondents answered that they see motorists driving distractedly; why 57 per cent feel that there has been an increase in speeding; and why 59 per cent feel there has been an increase in tailgating incidents. If there is a statistic that hits home, it should be that 19 per cent of drivers who responded to this survey said that they had been involved in an accident within the previous six months. That clearly shows that one in five of us has had a brush that could have resulted in injury or death, but thankfully didn’t.