The UAE's five most common traffic offences in 2021

Distracted driving one of the top causes of road accidents, official figures show

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Distracted driving is one of the five most common traffic offences that caused more than 2,000 accidents in the UAE last year, according to the Ministry of Interior.

According to figures made available on the ministry’s website, distracted driving, sudden swerving between lanes, and failing to maintain a safe distance between vehicles were high on the list of traffic offences recorded in the UAE in 2021.

Other law-breaking behaviours on the road included turning into a street without checking that it was clear to do so and jumping red lights.

These five traffic offences combined caused 2,493 accidents out of 3,488 crashes that occurred in 2021.

Data show that distracted driving was the reason behind 1,031 collisions while sudden swerving caused 548 accidents.

Not keeping a safe distance, also known as breaking distance, between cars was the cause of 484 crashes last year.

Failing to ensure a road is clear before entering it caused 335 crashes and jumping red traffic signals caused 95 accidents.

Road accidents in the country increased in 2021 to 3,488, up from 2,931 in 2020, although for much of 2020 residents were working from home, meaning traffic was much lighter than usual.

The accidents caused the deaths of 381 people last year and injured 2,620 people, compared with 256 deaths and 2,437 injuries in 2020.

List of traffic fines

Distracted driving

Dh400 fine and four points on the driver’s licence

Failing to maintain safe distance

Dh400 fine and four points on the driver’s licence

Sudden swerving

Dh1,000 and four points on the driver’s licence

Jumping a red traffic signal

Dh1,000 and 12 points on the driver’s licence

Entering roads without ensuring they are clear

Dh400 fine and four points on the driver’s licence

Everyone's responsibility

Thomas Edelmann, managing director of Road Safety UAE, said motorists must act responsibly to make the roads safer.

“All road users, whether drivers or pedestrians, must take the responsibility of making sure are were safe and everyone around them is safe too because every single road death is one too many,” Mr Edelman said.

“We still see a lot of misbehaviour on the road. We must avoid that anyone dies on the road and we have been trying to do that with raising awareness, better laws, and more enforcement,” he said.

“Everyone involved, like the government and us at Road Safety, are trying to pull their weight because about 95 per cent of accidents happen because of human error.”

He said motorists have to improve their behaviour when it comes to driving.

The UAE has made huge efforts over the past few years to improve road safety through its system of motorway radars, fines, improving priority for pedestrians and public awareness campaigns to educate motorists about road safety.

Abu Dhabi Police regularly post CCTV videos showing incidents on the emirate's roads to warn drivers of potential dangers.

Updated: July 10, 2022, 3:28 AM