Twenty-seven people died and 655 were injured in road accidents in Dubai during the first half of the year.
A senior official from the force told The National on Tuesday that sudden swerving, not leaving a safe distance between vehicles and not abiding by traffic rules were the main causes of the 1,009 accidents in the emirate.
Figures were down from the same period last year, when 61 people died and 1,100 were injured in 1,664 accidents.
“Being distracted by mobile phones while driving [can result in] serious mistakes, like speeding or sudden swerving, which can cause deadly collisions,” Col Jumaa bin Suwaidan, deputy director of the Traffic Department in Dubai Police said.
“Speeding and other traffic violations caused the deaths of 27 people this year.”
In addition, more than 33,000 fines were issued to drivers who were using their mobile phones while behind the wheel.
“The number of tickets demonstrates that some drivers are not aware of the risk and dangers of being distracted with their phones while driving,” Col Suwaidan said.
“Such behaviour is [similar] to a person driving his vehicle [while sleepy] or with his eyes closed.
“The consequences of this behaviour can result in deaths if the driver swerves or drives at high speed while being distracted.
"In some instances, drivers were caught checking social media accounts and browsing the internet on their phones," Col Suwaidan said.
“As technology advances and more people spend long hours on social media, they don’t know that seconds of checking a post online or replying to others through text can cause an accident.”
The department said that 2,285 vehicles were involved in road accidents this year across Dubai, a reduction on last year’s figure, which was 3,749.
“Most accidents were minor but they can easily lead to a major accident,” Col Suwaidan said.
“Not leaving a safe distance [between vehicles] and sudden swerving are the top two reasons behind these accidents.”
To prevent accidents, Dubai Police patrols are operational across the emirate. Advanced radars are also used to spot different violations, such as people using mobile phones while driving.
Anyone caught committing the offence will be fined Dh800 and given four black points.