Distractions while operating a vehicle in the UAE

Image source: http://gulfnews.com/

Image source: gulfnews.com

All drivers should have their eyes on the road, and be watching the traffic around them. There have always been distractions while driving, and you have probably had one of your own. It used to be things like fiddling with the radio, looking in the mirror to make sure the baby is ok in the back, looking and talking to a passenger who are in the car with you. There are also men shaving, women putting makeup on, and the list goes on.

These days you can add to that, talking or texting on your phone. Quite frankly, shaving and putting on makeup on while driving, shows nothing more than disrespect to other motorists. There are pedestrians as well that are getting hurt because of irresponsible driving. The drivers who continue to use their phones, on top of normal distractions are being referred to as the “the new killers” on the road.

In 2011, the World Health Organization issued a report that of the 1.3 million people who die in traffic accidents, one-third die due to the usage of a cell phone. The Dubai Police Traffic Department reports that 15,233 tickets were issued to motorists for using a mobile phone while driving in the first four months of 2012. In the UAE, the use of hand-held mobile phones is banned while driving. If you are caught, offenders will pay a fine of Dh200 and get four black points on their license.

There was a study done in the University of Kansas that shows that drunk driving increases the risk of accidents by 400 per cent. Talking on a

Image source: 7daysindubai.com

Image source: 7daysindubai.com

hands-free device increases the risk by 500 per cent. When sending a text message while driving, it increases the risk of an accident by an incredible 2,400 per cent. These statistics are astounding and only to get worse with increasing technology.

Picture this scenario. A woman is having guests at her home one tonight, and she is already frazzled because she left work late. There is so much to do before her guests arrive. She is speeds up a little and is now over speed limit. She grabs her phone, calls her husband to pick up something at the grocers, calls her daughter to make sure she has tidied the house. She calls her husband back to pick up some wine. She fiddles around for change for a coffee. She goes through the drive thru, still talking and gets her coffee. She is doing all of this, while driving her vehicle. This seems to be the meaning of multi-tasking these days.

She is no different than millions of people all looking for an accident. Everyone should put the phone away while driving. We are all busy each and every day. It is definitely the right decision for the law to ban cell phones in cars. Everyone needs to abide by this rule and the decision not to use the phone in the car. We all survived before the smart and cell phones came into the picture, and we will survive without them.

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