Young drivers below the age of 25 cause the majority of road accidents in the UAE and have the lowest levels of seat belt use, according to new data from RoadSafetyUAE.
Research shows that only 62 percent of drivers aged 18-24 always use their seat belt compared to 72 percent of overall drivers in the UAE, with 42 percent of young drivers not seeing the need to use them during short trips.
These figures come despite 71 percent of young drivers saying they are aware of the recent changes to UAE law to encourage seat belt use.
Asked about distracted driving, only 57 percent of 18-24 year olds said they are always fully focused in their cars compared to 66 percent of the overall sample of 1,007 motorists surveyed.
According to Ministry of Interior data published previously, 45 percent of all road accidents UAE-wide have been caused by young drivers as well as 34 percent of all road traffic fatalities.
RoadSafetyUAE said the problem is not a UAE specific one alone as death rates globally for 18-24 years old drivers typically remain more than double those of older drivers.
The main causes for accidents within this age group are speeding, using phones behind the wheel and not keeping a safe distance between vehicles.
Thomas Edelmann, managing director RoadSafetyUAE said: “Simply put, young drivers behave more dangerously and protect themselves less than older and more experienced motorists. Young drivers are significantly more distracted, tailgate more, use their indictors and their seat belts less than the average motorist.
"A lack of a caring attitude can be observed by statements like having less empathy for tailgated motorists, indicating less out of habit or not wanting to appear inexperienced, less demanding towards passengers and children to use their seat belts, which is coupled with a significantly lower level of knowledge about the new seat belt law.”For all the latest transport news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.
Subscribe to Arabian Business' newsletter to receive the latest breaking news and business stories in Dubai,the UAE and the GCC straight to your inbox.