One in five drivers were involved in a road accident in the UAE within the last six months, the latest YouGov survey recently found. 

The study - which is based on perceptions from 1,000 people - revealed that an increasing number of motorists feel driving in the Emirates is becoming more dangerous. They cite speeding, tailgating, and sudden lane changing as growing causes for concern.

While the figures are alarming, the research wasn't all bad news as it did reveal that more motorists are enjoying driving in the UAE and experiencing a reduction in travel time. 

UAE, road, highway in UAE
Source: Flickr

YouGov traffic incident surveys have been biannually released in the UAE since 2015 and are overseen by the country's Road Safety Monitor and commissioned by campaign group Road Safety UAE in partnership with insurers Noor Takaful. 

The need to stay up-to-date on numbers when it comes to traffic incidents is crucial as the country is trying to curb the number of road accident fatalities. 

"We must understand the fact that proper behaviour and responsible road users are the main ingredients to making our roads safer," said managing director of Road Safety UAE Thomas Edelmann, according to The National.

Edelmann explained that while there were positive insights in the study, there's still much to be done to improve local "motorists' driving behavior."

A look at the study's percentages over the years

When the survey was first launched four years ago, 54 percent of UAE drivers believed the country's roads were becoming more dangerous. This dropped to 40 percent in 2018 but has gone up this year, with 43 percent sharing this sentiment. 

The number of motorists admitting their involvement in road accidents has constantly changed in the past eight surveys, averaging between 16 and 22 percent. In the most recently published report, 19 percent of those surveyed said they had been in a traffic accident in the past six months.

The report also confirmed that warning people against using mobile phones while driving seems to be working.

The first survey of 2019's first half noted 68 percent of respondents had noticed drivers using mobile phones behind the wheel or experiencing other distractions, down from 79 percent in 2016. 

What's the UAE doing to curb car accidents?

While the numbers of fatalities and injuries related to road accidents have been considerably high in the past few years, there has been a significant drop. 

In 2017, "the rate of road traffic death decreased to 4.5 per 100 thousand people," according to official governmental data. 

This is partly due to the fact that the UAE has been launching road safety campaigns to help people get a gist of what they need to stay safe on the road. Other than raising awareness, the country has also been cracking down on violators of traffic safety rules. 

In 2017, the country implemented a stricter traffic law across all its cities. Under it, reckless driving and speeding carry hefty fines totaling up to 2,000 dirhams ($544) and can lead to vehicles being impounded. 

Distractions including using mobile phones while behind the wheel are strictly prohibited, while wearing seat belts is mandatory for drivers and passengers.