Mobile phones main cause of road deaths in UAE: Study


Drivers getting distracted by the cell phones result in a sudden change of lanes causing serious road accidents.

Use of mobile phones while driving has been attributed as the main cause of road deaths and serious injuries on Abu Dhabi roads, according to a new study.

The latest survey conducted by the Abu Dhabi Police showed that 75 to 80 per cent of deaths and severe injuries from road accidents are a result of drivers chatting on social media, browsing the internet, speaking on phones and other distractive behaviours while driving.

The study said drivers getting distracted by the cell phones result in a sudden change of lanes causing serious road accidents.

During a lecture named “Balanced Leadership … Respecting the Rights of Road Users” held at Al Bateen Majlis, Brigadier Salem bin Barak Al Dhaheri, deputy director of the traffic and patrols directorate at the central operations sector of the Abu Dhabi Police, said the use of mobile phones while driving has become a habit for many motorists, especially youngsters, and poses a huge danger to road safety.

“Motorists should avoid using phones while driving their vehicles because it breaks the concentration of the driver and could lead the vehicle to veer off its lane, which could result in accidents,” said Al Dhaheri. “Studies have revealed that many road accidents were being caused by a lack of concentration and negligence mainly because of drivers speaking on mobile phones, chatting on social media or taking videos while driving.”

Traffic authorities have also warned motorists to stop taking pictures or ‘selfies’ while driving because it breaks the attention of the driver and hampers their response to traffic movements, making them jump a red signal or swerving into another lane without notice.

According to the UAE traffic law, mobile phone violation carries a Dh800 fine along with four black points.

The lecture, organised by the Abu Dhabi Police, was aimed at spreading the culture of good driving and adhering to traffic rules and regulations among members of the community to promote safety on the roads.

Traffic authorities also urged parents not to leave children to walk alone or ride bikes on the internal roads passing through residential neighbourhoods unsupervised because it could lead to run-over accidents as some inattentive drivers might not notice the kids.

Motorists have also been told to reduce the speed at zebra crossings and give priority to pedestrians at uncontrolled crossing areas.

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