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Mon 4 Apr 2016 09:25 AM

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Only 15% of UAE motorists seen to use indicators, survey reveals

Practice seen by some as a sign of weakness or inexperience, despite many fatalities from lane-swerving

Only 15% of UAE motorists seen to use indicators, survey reveals
Frederik Bisbjerg (Qatar Insured) & Thomas Edelmann (RoadSafetyUAE) (Photo: ME NewsWire)

Only 15 percent of the UAE’s road users are thought to use their indicators while driving, despite the fact that official data shows lane swerving caused 21 percent of traffic fatalities in the country in 2015.

A survey published on Sunday by RoadSafetyUAE and QIC Insured showed that while 90 percent of respondents believed that using indicators increased road safety, and 67 percent claimed to indicate almost every time, only 15 percent observed others indicating on every occasion.

Some of the reasons given for not indicating included: distraction by traffic, habit, and the fact that the practice is seen as a sign of weakness or inexperience.

“We’re quite surprised to see that almost all acknowledge, that using the indicator increases road safety, but only 15  percent are seen to actually use the indicator when driving – it seems like an easy win for safer roads, if motorists would actually use the indicator when switching lanes and we need to analyse how we can positively influence our customers to increase the usage of the indicator,” said Frederik Bisbjerg, executive vice president MENA Retail at QIC Insured, in a press statement.

The survey also showed that usage of indicators tends to vary by age, nationality and location.

Only 56 percent of people aged between 18-24 claimed to use indicators on almost every occasion, with the figure rising to 78 percent for those aged 40 and above.

Just over half (54 percent) of Emiratis questioned by the survey said they used indicators regularly, compared with 85 percent of Western expats.

Only 56 percent of those surveyed in Abu Dhabi claimed to use indicators frequently, compared to 73 percent in Dubai.

“Continued awareness initiatives are needed to remind motorists that the non-use of indicators does not only break the law, which comes with traffic fines and black points, but it is also impolite, inconsiderate and dangerous, as it contributes to lane swerving - the number-one killer on our roads,” said Thomas Edelmann, founder and managing director of RoadSafetyUAE.

“Always using the indicator protects us motorists, our passengers and other traffic participants. Regardless of our backgrounds, all UAE motorists must have a crystal clear understanding about it.”

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Ali Hossain 3 years ago

"...the fact that the practice is seen as a sign of weakness or inexperience"

Fact? I think not - it's both a common courtesy and a manner of hazard avoidance. It hadn't even occurred to me that people could be so self-absorbed and ludicrous.

The fact is "lane swerving caused 21 percent of traffic fatalities in the country in 2015", and indicating and general spatial awareness can help reduce unnecessary accidents and fatalities.

Mosa 3 years ago

Giving indicators will reduce accidents by half, yet people do not understand.
It makes life so much easier because you know in advance that the car next to you wants to turn.
But no, ego is much more precious to some drivers than their own life and other peoples lives.
If you give indicators, even if someones driving fast, you at least know that the driver is going to turn.
It does not reduce the credibility of a good driver, it in fact raises the level of respect for any driver if they give indicators and drive.
Its a sign of being a professional and smart driver, not a weak driver.

Navin 3 years ago

Can we have someone do the survey for Kuwait? I bet it's no more than 5%

Said 3 years ago

Using your indicators is a sign of intelligence and respect. Am pretty sure one can find correlation between regular and social/emotional IQ and the way people drive.

Spread this message through an advertising campaign and many of people who fail to show proper driving etiquette will prefer to tune their egos down rather than acknowledging and showing the world their real IQ.

ARW 3 years ago

Bottom line is there is not enough enforcement on the roads. If this isn't increased and taken seriously enough it won't change. Even the most dangerous roads are not adequately policed. You can't do it with cameras alone. It's one of the biggest issues the UAE faces and more needs to be done otherwise accidents and road deaths will continue to rise unfortunately. Surveys like this only tell us what we know already! What is going to be done about it, another survey?

Mirror 3 years ago

I see a different problem on roads. From those 15% using indicators, almost 10% decide to change the lane first and then use indicator. Most of the time, I see the front car has made his/her decision to change the lane before even looking at the mirror and assessing whether it is secure to change the lane and (of course) use indicator.

John 3 years ago

@Navin, until Kuwait implements 'systems' like the UAE to network all traffic related issues like car registration, car insurance, inspection facilities and most importantly road development, Kuwait will never get a handle on their roads. One-third of cards on the roads in Kuwait would never pass an inspection in Dubai and these people could never afford the registration fees. But what Kuwait needs dearly is to improve their buses and alternate transportation so they can pull cars off the roads, not lazily deporting people for traffic violations - fix the systems!

Ahmed 3 years ago

@ARW, you are 100% correct, it is imperative that more policing is put on the roads. I am also surprised that texting whilst driving/ talking on the phones whilst driving is not a major factor in traffic accidents in the UAE. Another key point is that many of drivers come to the UAE from countries with no driver's training and if they do drive in their home countries, on roads that are undeveloped and chaotic, so these drivers never adhere to civilised laws like are set-up in the UAE. If you speak to the RTA, the highest traffic accidents are committed by Indian nationals.