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UAE drivers distracted behind the wheel?

Distracted driving

Who would have guessed . . .

September 2, 2014 4:08 by

The leading cause for road distractions in the UAE is the behaviour of other drivers, according to a new report.

A joint study by insurance giant Zurich and, surveying more than one thousand drivers across the country, has been released today (September 2). Respondents named the five top distractions they face on the road, here’s what they had to say:

1. Behaviour of other drivers (59 per cent) – Just what do they have against turn signals?

2. Passengers speaking to you (44 per cent) – I’m trying to change lanes, SILENCE!

3. Changing the radio (40 per cent) – Am I supposed to just keep listening to Katy Perry, then?

4. Adjusting the air conditioning (34 per cent) – I’m cold again. . .

5. Poorly behaved children (34 per cent)Why are you pulling my hair . . . you are not my child!

Other distractions include road signs, reading maps, reaching for things and, shockingly, 30 per cent cite using a mobile phone as a major distraction.

Brian Reilly, CEO of Zurich Insurance Middle East, says in a media statement: “People are limited in the amount of information they can process at any one time, so the prevalent use of mobile phones by drivers, which requires eyes to be taken off the road and hands to be removed from the wheel, is troubling. Zurich would encourage every car user in the UAE to stow their mobile phone away before setting off on a trip to ensure that concentration is fully directed on the road and other cars.”

On a daily basis, these little distractions may not be considered to be harmful; however, the report explains that a two-second distraction when driving at 100 kilometres per hour will effectively have you driving blind for 55 meters.

And as many of us are well aware, that is more than enough time for a traffic collision to take place.

Thomas Edelman, founder of says in a media statement: “It is important for motorists to be consciously aware of the many sources of distraction. Motorists must actively reflect on the distractions that they are most prone to succumb to and then actively combat those distractions. At the same time, we must also be aware of other potentially distracted traffic participants.”

The report also reveals that eight per cent of respondents are distracted when looking at the city skyline. . .  the very same city they see every day.


Top 5 tips to keep focused while driving in the UAE

1. Put your mobile phone away

2. Don’t drive while you are tired

3. Take regular breaks on longer trips

4. Ask passengers to respect your role as driver

5. Do not trust other drivers – always expect the worst


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