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Gulf’s roads of death
Kipp’s poll asked readers what they thought was the biggest danger on Dubai’s roads. Here are the results, along with some disturbing stats on driving in the Gulf.
August 16, 2010 4:26 by Samuel Potter
For a city that is supposedly low on alcohol, drink drivers are another notable concern. Kipp’s poll showed that 12 percent of readers consider it the biggest danger, though it only places third overall, just ahead of young drivers (8 percent) and un-roadworthy vehicles (3 percent).
The seriousness of these problems for those of us who live and work in Dubai cannot be overstated, but it is not a problem unique to the emirate, or even to the UAE. Statistics from the Suraya Foundation, a non-profit road safety organization based in Dubai that aims to spread emotionally compelling safety messages to change the attitudes of reckless drivers, say that a stunning 12,000 people die on Gulf roads each year. That’s around 35 road-related deaths per day.
Here’s a selection of other stats:
- Average road deaths per day in Saudi Arabia: 20.
- UAE residents seven times more likely to die on the roads than UK residents (it’s the second major cause of death in the UAE).
- Middle East roads rank second among World’s Most Dangerous Roads.
- The Gulf loses $20 billion per year thanks to damages caused by road related accidents (the equivalent of the UAE federal budget, the cost of Burj Khalifa, spending on worldwide cancer research, and the worldwide immunization program all combined).
Dubai, the UAE, and all of the Gulf need to focus on the fact that the security of a place and its residents rests not just on preventing crime or terrorism, but also on efforts to keep them safe from less deliberate dangers. Until Dubai’s road safety is greatly improved, no one will feel fully safe here.
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