ABU DHABI // Newly released figures from the Ministry of Interior show there were 463 road deaths compared with 464 deaths in the same period last year.
In the first eight months of the year, road fatalities were recorded in the country with sudden swerving the leading factor, responsible for 113 deaths.
Other causes of road fatalities included speeding with 62 deaths, misjudgment of road users with 45 deaths, failure to observe a safe distance between vehicles with 41 deaths, inattention with 39 deaths, failing to comply with lane rules with 34 deaths, entering a road without making sure it was clear with 19 deaths and not giving priority to pedestrians with 19 deaths. All types of road accidents accounted for 64 deaths.
Traffic-related injuries reached 4,602, compared with 4,969 in 2013, a fall of 7.4 per cent.
Not leaving a safe distance between vehicles was responsible for 576 injuries, followed by jumping a red light which caused 406 injuries. Misjudgment of road users caused 402 injuries, speeding caused 390 injuries, and entering a road without making sure it was clear caused 353 injuries.
Inattention and failure to comply with lane rules led to 303 and 347 injuries, respectively.
The number of traffic accidents overall fell by 10.7 per cent, from 3,549 to 3,170.
Brig Gen Ghaith Al Zaabi, director-general of the traffic co-ordination at the Ministry of Interior, said the decrease resulted from the efficiency of the ministry's strategy to enhance safety.
Collisions registered a 14.5 per cent drop, from 2,326 to 1,989. Car crashes were down by 11.5 per cent to 369, compared to 417 in the same period last year. Run-over accidents reached 744, compared with 755 in 2013, a 2.7 per cent drop. All other accidents registered a 65.9 per cent increase, from 41 to 68 accidents over the same period.
The main cause of accidents was sudden swerving, with 589 incidents, followed by misjudgment of road users with 406 accidents, failure to observe a safe distance between vehicles with 350 accidents, and inattention with 265 accidents.
There were 258 speeding-related accidents, while entering a road without making sure it was clear led to 232 accidents.
Failing to comply with lane rules caused 189 accidents. Red-light violations were behind 187 accidents, drink-driving caused 150 accidents, and not giving priority to pedestrians led to 107 accidents.
“Any drop in the numbers of road accidents, injuries and fatalities is welcome,” Thomas Edelmann, founder of website Road Safety UAE, said on Monday.
“It seems the increased awareness for safer driving is impacting the behaviour of traffic participants at a sustainable level. The continued efforts of the traffic and patrols directorates as well as from other governmental entities must be applauded and I am sure their efforts will continue at a high level.”
Brig Gen Al Zaabi wants the decrease to continue. He urged motorists and road users to abide by the traffic rules and regulations, to spare themselves and others risk of traffic accidents.
“A lot needs to be done,” said Mr Edelmann. “Accidents in the UAE cannot be attributed to external factors since we are blessed with excellent road infrastructure, typically good cars and good weather. Swerving, driving too close to the vehicle in front, jumping red lights are all ‘man-made’. We must all show a caring attitude: the driver must take care of their own safety, the safety of their passengers, and the safety of all road users.”