Fewer fatalities but significantly more injuries on UAE roads last year

Number of crashes increased by 13 per cent in 2022, official figures say

The number of crashes increased by 13 per cent in 2022 - to 3,945 up from 3,488 in 2021. Dubai Media Office
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More injuries but fewer fatalities were reported in traffic accidents on the UAE's roads last year, Ministry of Interior figures show.

The number of crashes increased by 13 per cent in 2022 – to 3,945 up from 3,488 in 2021.

The ministry said 343 people lost their lives in 2022, down from 381 the year before.

The number of people injured in road collisions almost doubled to 5,045 – a sharp increase on the 2,620 the year before.

Significant drop

“The current number of fatalities represents a 68 per cent drop within the last 14 years, which is remarkable,” said Thomas Edelmann, managing director of Road Safety UAE.

He said studies in recent years have identified several issues among road users.

“Decades of YouGov behaviour studies conducted by RoadSafetyUAE reveal that 'running late' and lack of a 'caring attitude’ are key factors.

“This kind of root cause research needs to be carried out regularly and results must be shared openly and broadly.

“This approach is the foundation for impactful initiatives going forward.”

Watch: The new AI technology improving Dubai's roads

Watch: The new AI technology improving Dubai's roads

Last year’s fatalities included 297 males and 46 females, with 74 per cent aged between 18 and 45.

Abu Dhabi and Dubai reported the highest number of fatalities, with 127 and 120 deaths respectively.

The figures showed 34 people died in Ras Al Khaimah, 33 in Sharjah, 13 in Ajman, 12 in Umm Al Quwain and four in Fujairah.

Reasons behind accidents

Distraction was the leading cause of accidents last year, contributing to 948 in total, with Abu Dhabi recording the most cases of distracted driving, at 509, followed by 119 in Sharjah and 111 in Dubai.

Other significant causes included sudden swerving and lane indiscipline, with 848 accidents.

Lack of safe distance was behind 505 accidents, while entering a road without making sure it was safe to do so caused 359 accidents.

Motorists failing to assess road conditions and ignoring traffic signs caused 346 accidents.

Ignoring red lights caused another 177 accidents, while drink-driving was the cause of 116 accidents.

Boosting road safety

The UAE government has numerous initiatives to improve road safety, said Mr Edelman, including stronger traffic law enforcement, awareness campaigns and smart traffic systems to monitor and detect driving offences.

“A root cause based series of initiatives need to be developed. We must stop wasting efforts in telling road users 'don't tailgate, it's dangerous', because road users do know this,” said Mr Edelman.

“We rather need to address the root causes, like 'Start your road trip 10 minutes early and hence, there is no need to tailgate, speed, bully others and you will enjoy lower stress levels while driving.”

Mr Edelman said instilling the safety mindset as early as possible could help cut accidents involving young drivers.

“Ideally starting in KG1 all the way to the end of the university education,” he said.

He suggested introducing a staged driving licence scheme for learner drivers and having tracking technology for young drivers, like they have in other countries, to make sure young drivers know all about safe behaviour and manners.

Updated: June 20, 2023, 2:00 AM