One of the most annoying driving behaviors observed regularly on UAE roads is the stubborn non-use of indicators. Motorists regularly switch lanes, merge onto highways, exit highways, turn at T-junctions or 4-way junctions or leave roundabouts without bothering to use indicators. Even heavy fines to the tune of AED 200 in Abu Dhabi (and 3 black points) or AED 400 in Dubai have failed to serve as a deterrent.
A non-representative ‘behind the wheel’ study that was conducted by RoadSafetyUAE, which took into account over 5,000 observed maneuvers on UAE roads between February and June 2019 revealed that in 47 percent of instances, the indicators were not used. The non-use is not limited to any particular type of roads and is prevalent in the case of all kinds of roads and vehicles whether they are private vehicles, limos, taxis or commercial vehicles.
It is a bit tough to understand why drivers of taxis and ride sharing services who should focus on the safety of their passengers frequently break the law by failing to do something that is an essential component of road safety and is quite easy to do.
Fleet operators are encouraged to train their drivers and engage with them in order to make them role models for proper conduct. This behavior will then hopefully be replicated by drivers of private vehicles and hence will lead to an overall improvement in the use of indicators overall.
Thomas Edelmann, Managing Director of RoadSafetyUAE said that it is upto motorists to lead by example and to display a caring attitude towards themselves and to everyone around them. The law syas that indicators have to be used and it has to be obeyed.
“It was interesting to observe in our ‘behind the wheel’ study, that the use of indicators seems to be ‘infectious’! Meaning, that if one vehicle actually does use the indicators, suddenly you see many other vehicles around also using their indicators, which is very encouraging and it substantiates the statement that we all have to lead by example!”, Edelmann added.
The lack of indicator use not only points to poor road habits and impolite behavior, but can also be dangerous when motorists to warn other motorists as to where they intend to go. The non-use of indicators is a major ingredient to sudden lane change / lane swerving which once again was the leading cause of death in the UAE in 2018, killing 59 people and causing major injuries to 495, according to official data published earlier.
Tips & tricks for proper indicator use:
• It is always wise to remember that non-use of indicators is the #1 KILLER on our roads!
• It is a basic rule of road safety to use your indicator (non-use leads to fines and black points!)
• Using your indicator is a sign of good manners – it’s basic etiquette to signal where you intend to go!
• Use of indicators is necessary to protect yourself and others!
• Always make it a habit to use your indicator
• It is necessary to indicate a few seconds BEFORE you actually move, to make others aware
• Check in front & around you – check mirrors – indicate before your move – look over your left shoulder – then maneuver!
• When you see somebody else indicating, be polite and caring and allow them to move
• Indicate ALWAYS when you want to:
o Change lanes
o Take a turn or exit/enter a highway
o Exit a roundabout
o Pull out of a parking slot
Manju Mathew, an MBA in marketing, completed publisher training courses from the Oxford Brookes University and New York University. She started with marketing and PR roles before moving on to her current position as a full time writer. Currently living in Dubai, her life as an expat has sharpened her observation skills and flair for writing. She enjoys writing about luxury cars like Ferrari, Lamborghini, etc even if she can only dream of owning them.
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