In accordance with a latest study, a huge number of Emiratis and young drivers are careless about wearing seatbelts. It also reveals that more than half of the drivers in the country do not prompt their fellow passengers to wear seatbelts.
QIC Insured and The RoadSafetyUAE’s study on the use of seatbelts coincided with the Ministry of the Interior’s recent traffic law that makes the use of back seatbelt compulsory for all car passengers.
Conducted in February, the survey was based on a representative sample of over 1,000 residents.
Overall, 91 percent of respondents said that they understand the importance of buckling up. This knowledge peaks among drivers above 35 and females, both with 95 percent, and Westerners, with 96 percent. However, the knowledge levels were the lowest among respondents aged 18 to 24 (87 percent) and Emiratis (85 percent).
Specifically, the knowledge that seatbelts can protect back seat passengers is notably lower, with only 81 percent understanding that. Like the previous survey, knowledge peaks among older drivers and women (87 percent each) and Westerners (92 percent). Meanwhile, the lowest figures were seen among young motorists and Emiratis (76 percent each) and Arab expatriates (74 percent).
Only 56 percent of respondents noted that they prompt their passengers to wear a seatbelt. Again, the figures are lowest among young respondents (34 percent) and Emiratis (38 percent). They cited different reasons for not using their seatbelts and not prompting fellow passengers to buckle up. The survey revealed that passengers feel safe in the backseat even without a seatbelt (55 percent), that seatbelts are not necessary on short trips (25 percent) and that respondents are confident they will not get involved in any road mishap (14 percent).
In a statement, Thomas Edelmann, founder and managing director of RoadSafetyUAE, said that the findings of the study would help all stakeholders develop hard-hitting awareness and education initiatives to support the implementation of this new law.
The result of the survey calls for certain efforts to extensively educate UAE residents on the significance of seatbelts when it comes to preventing injuries and casualties to back-seat passengers.
Given that the mandatory seatbelt law for front seat travelers has been in force for several years, only 78 percent admitted that they always wear a seatbelt. Westerners topped the list of the highest number of reported seatbelt users (100 percent), females (85 percent), Asians and motorists over 40 (83 percent) and Arab expats (82 percent).
Surprisingly, only 63 percent of motorists between 18 and 24, and 51 percent of Emiratis reported always buckling up when driving. Meanwhile, 71 percent of front seat passengers reported always using their seatbelt. Particularly, the figure was low among young drivers (52 percent) and Emiratis (38 percent). Alarmingly, only 11 percent of back-seaters reported always buckling up.
The report summarizes that this poor behavior goes beyond all demographics and it requires urgent and comprehensive education efforts of all concerned stakeholders: the media, governmental entities, corporations, the education sector (kindergartens, schools and universities) and platforms like RoadSafetyUAE.