Only 15 per cent of UAE motorists are seen using car indicators while driving, according to a new survey.
Failure to use indicators properly is a “key ingredient” behind lane swerving, which is the leading cause of fatal accidents in the UAE, the study warned on Sunday.
In 2015, 21 per cent of fatalities on UAE roads were caused by lane swerving, according to the Ministry of Interior.
The findings follow a representative sample of more than 1,000 UAE drivers surveyed in February by YouGov.
The research, led by RoadSafetyUAE and Qatar Insurance Company (QIC), reveals that while 90 per cent of motorists believe that indicators increase road safety, only a few of them are actually seen signalling.
Frederik Bisbjerg, executive vice-president, Mena Retail, QIC Insured, said: “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.”
The apparent discrepancy indicates “a big gap between the perception of motorists’ own behaviour and their perception of other motorists’ behaviour”, the study points out. According to the survey, 67 per cent of respondents said they indicate almost every time but only 15 per cent observe others indicating almost every time.
“These latter numbers seem to represent the reality better than the self-evaluation,” said Thomas Edelmann, founder and managing director, RoadSafetyUAE.
Out of the groups who reported signalling almost every time, only 56 percent of the youth use indicators, compared to 78 percent of residents aged 40 and older. Emiratis score lowest (54 percent) and Westerners rank the highest (85 percent). Abu Dhabi drivers (56 percent) contrast with Dubai at 73 percent.
Some of the reasons for not using indicators could be indicative of the various backgrounds of UAE motorists, the survey suggests. In those instances where respondents did not use their indicator, the reasons given were distraction by traffic (23 percent), not indicating out of habit (16 percent), indicating seen as a sign of inexperience (16 percent) or weakness (nine percent) and indicating not usual in home country (11 percent).
Edelmann said: “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. Just always indicate — it’s as simple as that.”
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