A. Bener, D. Crundall
Road traffic accidents (RTAs) are increasingly being recognized as a growing public health problem in Bedouin Arabian Gulf countries. The discovery of oil around the middle of the last century has lead to changes in many aspects of life in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), not least in regard to the amount of vehicles on the roads. Whilst affluence may advance a country in terms of technology, infrastructure and economic stability, it is not necessarily the case that general patterns of behaviour will adapt at the same speed. This is one of the reasons suggested for the high number of incidents involving aggressive driving behaviour and driving offenses. The study of such incidents, and their relation to traffic accidents, has become a major concern of researchers over several years. This current investigation presents recent data concerning RTAs and road user behaviour in UAE during 2000. Careless driving is identified as the most important factor in RTAs over the period of study, accounting for over 35% of all incidents, while excessive speed was the second most common cause. The findings are discussed in regard to the necessity of changing behaviour of drivers through media campaigns and health education. It is hoped that the findings of this study may assist decision makers and international consultants in the formulation of policies and the development of alternative plans to improve urban transportation system in the UAE.
Keywords: road traffic accidents; psychological factors; driver; intelligence; personality; carelessness; violations; social maturity; arousal; death rates; UAE