Road fatality indicators in the UAE dropped to 4.4 road deaths per 100,000 people in 2017 compared to 10.9 in 2015.
Several initiatives, new rules and traffic awareness campaigns have been rolled out by Dubai police and the Ministry of Interior to reduce road fatalities.
Among them is reducing the speed limit to 110kph on two major roads in Dubai.
Also, a drop in road fatalities in the first 8 months of 2017 as compared to 2016 is helping Dubai Police edge closer to their strategic target of zero road deaths by 2020.
That’s the good news.
The bad news is that people are at risk from a fog epidemic.
Two fogs happened in the past two months resulting in multiple injuries.
Media reports revealed that 22 people were injured in a crash that involved 44 vehicles on the Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Street (Abu Dhabi-Dubai road) on Tuesday.
The Abu Dhabi Police said the incident was caused by the low-visibility due to the heavy fog that blanked parts of the emirate.
Another fog took place on January 14 causing severe delays at the country’s main airports.
At Dubai International Airport, dozens of flights scheduled to land between 7am and 8am were in a holding patter, according to flight monitoring website flightradar24.com.
The website estimated that 96% of inbound flights were facing delays of more than an hour.
The Dubai police had already put in place emergency plans for foggy conditions, including banning lorries and buses transporting workers from using roads during such conditions.
“Such vehicles were asked to wait until the roads became clear to ensure the safety of road users and avoid possible fatal accidents,” said Brig Khalifa Mohammed Al Khaili, director, traffic, patrols directorate.
That truck must have ignored the warning: see Video
Here are 5 other freak UAE road/weather conditions you need to be watchful of:
1. Camel crossing: Camel crossing is known to be the cause of several accidents in the UAE. Motorists have on many occasions expressed their concerns that roaming animals are threatening lives of road users.
2. Rainfall: Bad weather conditions such as rainfall and floods are also a major cause for accidents in the UAE. For instance, the Dubai Police recorded 581 traffic accidents December 16, 2017 due to unstable weather.
3. Lightning: UAE authorities have warned against the use of electrical gadgets in case of a thunderstorm. Death does occur, especially if you decide to leave your car. Stay in it when lightnening strikes.
4. Sandstorm: The UAE experiences dusty days when cars are covered with sand and visibility is reduced to a couple of hundred metres. A sandstorm caused 135 deaths in Dubai in April 2015.
5. Snow: In February 2017, Ras Al Khaimah experienced temperatures below freezing, which led to snow falling. Snowstorms cause traffic jams, which in turn, could lead to accidents.