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41% UAE motorists admit to tailgating, finds study

Majority of the motorists in the UAE recognise the dangers of tailgating, which is one of the top five causes of road accidents, but 41 per cent of drivers drive too close to the vehicle in front, unmindful of a possible collision.

This was revealed in the recent survery commissioned by RoadSafetyUAE and QIC Insured conducted by YouGov between August 21-28 this year among 1,010 UAE residents.

"Tailgating is one of the most impolite, irresponsible and reckless behaviours we can observe on our roads pretty much every time we hit the roads," said Thomas Edelmann, founder and managing director of RoadSafetyUAE. "The majority of UAE motorists recognise the dangers of tailgating, however only 59 per cent 'never' tailgate," he said.

"Tailgaters blame slower vehicles in front or their own 'running late' for their offensive behaviour. There is little empathy for the ones getting tailgated, despite the fact that tailgaters are well aware of the stress and distraction they cause."

When asked why they tailgate, 33 per cent of the respondents blamed the slow vehicles in front of them; 23 per cent said they are 'running late'; and 10 per cent replied that they are tailgated too.

"As seen in previous behaviour studies conducted by RoadSafetyUAE and QIC Insured, once again the segment of the young drivers had the worst scores: they tailgate others more, they have less empathy with the ones they tailgate and they show the least willingness to get out of the way when they get tailgated themselves."

Of those being tailgated, 36 per cent said they just want to move out of the way; 25 per cent admit getting nervous by tailgating while nine per cent don't mind the car tailgating them.

Edelmann underlined that it is vital to understand the reasons for tailgating to develop meaningful improvement initiatives. 

The survey also revealed that 43 per cent of motorists do not to know the official safe distance between cars, despite learning this at driving school.

Edelmann said when motorists were asked for the recommended safety distance at 100km/h, which is two seconds or 56 metres, only 24 per cent or respondents know the right distance. About 22 per cent believe that a mere 'one car length' is the recommended distance.

"UAE motorists however see education as the main opportunity to improve the behavior (55 per cent), followed by more police presence and enforcement (48 per cent), as well as by in-vehicle technology (42 per cent) and higher fines (39 per cent). Moreover, road safety education should also be focused on the young drivers " Edelmann added.

[email protected]

Angel Tesorero

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