Causes and strategies to reduce road traffic accidents in Abu Dhabi
Every year globally 1.3 million people lose their lives from road traffic accidents (RTAs).
To date, there has not been a comprehensive evaluation of RTAs in the United Arab Emirates, and the results from this study would help in evaluating the issues related to RTAs. Relevant literature on factors related to RTAs was reviewed to inform the methods adopted for the study. Structured questionnaires were used to collect quantitative data among 291 drivers and 280 pedestrians in Abu Dhabi, while 41 key informant interviews with traffic managers provided qualitative data.
Draft recommendations on RTAs in Abu Dhabi that were derived from drivers, pedestrians and key informant interviews were discussed with appropriate stakeholders , traffic managers and policy makers in the country that resulted in the development of RTAs benchmark in the country.
The study has identified major causes of RTAs in Abu Dhabi, with young people between 18-25 years, the ones who are likely to cause RTAs in Abu Dhabi. Not wearing seat belt, using mobile phone and alcohol consumption were also identified as causes of RTAs.
Aggressive driving behaviour was the most unsafe driving behaviours and included speeding, tailgating, not using indicators and jumping red traffic lights. Using a mobile phones as a pedestrian while crossing roads and crossing roads from undesignated places also contributed to RTAs.
The study has proposed methods to reduce RTAs in Abu Dhabi including traffic law enforcement, traffic campaigns and education traffic safety programs. The study further proposes that a welcome pack be provided for new arrivals to the country, with information on the importance of traffic safety and to explain the traffic law in the country as an appropriate method to reduce RTAs in Abu Dhabi. The study further proposes that governments should work with relevant stakeholders to address issues related to RTAs.