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UAE: 'Misbehavior' will cause a 3% increase in road deaths in 2023.

The Ministry of Interior (MOI) in the UAE recently released 'open data' on road safety statistics for the year 2023, revealing a 3% increase in road fatalities compared to the previous year. Experts attribute this rise primarily to the "misbehavior of road users." In total, there were 352 road fatalities recorded across the country in 2023, marking a slight uptick from the 343 deaths reported in 2022. However, this figure represents an 8% decrease from the 381 fatalities documented in 2021.

Thomas Edelmann, founder and managing director of RoadSafetyUAE, emphasized the ongoing efforts to reduce road fatalities in the UAE. He noted that while fatality numbers remain near an 'all-time low,' there is cause for concern regarding the increase in accidents and injuries. The long-term trend, however, is notable, with a significant 67% drop in road fatalities over the past 15 years.

Despite the overall positive trajectory, Edelmann highlighted the need for sustained focus on road safety, particularly with regard to vulnerable road users, such as young drivers aged 19–29. MOI data indicates that 15% of major accidents involve new driving license holders, underscoring the importance of awareness campaigns targeting this demographic.

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In response to these findings, stakeholders are urged to play their part in promoting safe driving practices. Edelmann called on driving schools, universities, employers, and parents to fulfill their responsibilities in fostering a culture of road safety. He emphasized the importance of instilling safe habits from an early age, suggesting revisiting driving school education and implementing staged driving licenses and monitoring technologies for novice drivers.

Contrary to common assumptions, road and weather conditions were found to have minimal impact on accidents. An overwhelming majority (98%) of road injuries occurred on dry roads, with 99% of accidents taking place during dry and clear weather conditions. These statistics underscore the need for a multifaceted approach to road safety, encompassing education, enforcement, and infrastructure improvements.

As the UAE continues its commitment to enhancing road safety, stakeholders must remain vigilant in addressing the underlying causes of accidents and fatalities while promoting responsible behavior among road users. Through collaborative efforts and targeted interventions, the nation aims to further reduce road-related casualties and create safer roads for all.

May 3, 2024 5:14 p.m. 4038

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