Road accidents in the UAE have resulted in multiple deaths on several occasions. In 2016, the number of road deaths in the country stood at 6.1 per 100,000 people. Though the Emirati country is working on reducing that statistic (it decreased to 4.4 in 2018) as part of Vision 2021, traffic accidents still occur from time to time.
The most recent one involved a bus carrying 52 pilgrims in the Emirati capital of Abu Dhabi. The passengers were commuting from Mecca, Saudi Arabia, to Oman when the bus crashed into a metal barrier. The accident took place on the Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed highway en route to Oman, but thankfully no casualties or injuries were reported.
The director of traffic and patrol department of Abu Dhabi Police, Colonel Mohammad Salem Al Shehhi, said the passengers were assisted following the crash, reported Gulf News. Emergency first responders offered passengers shelter, food, and drinks until another ride was arranged.
The newly reported accident is considered mild compared to one that took place in Dubai back in June. That month, a bus, which routinely travels between Oman and the UAE, crashed into a height barrier, leaving 17 people dead and 13 injured.
The driver, a 53-year-old Omani national, was prosecuted over the death of the passengers, sentenced to seven years in prison, and ordered to pay 3.4 million dirhams ($925,701) in blood money to the victims' families as well as a 50,000-dirham-fine ($13,613). Turns out, the driver took a road not designated for buses and exceeded the speed limit, driving at 94km/h despite the "40km/h" instruction.
According to the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) in Dubai, surpassing the speed limit accounts for 80 percent of all injury crashes. Other times, accidents can be a result of weather conditions.
In Feb. 2018, heavy fog led to two multi-vehicle accidents on the major highway linking Dubai and Abu Dhabi. A total of 22 people were injured and 44 cars were crashed. Eighteen of those sustained minor injuries, two sustained serious injuries, and two others received moderate injuries, Gulf News reported at the time.
A survey conducted in 2018 also revealed that despite improvements in infrastructure in the country, people don't feel quite safe while riding down UAE roads. The survey found that "40 percent of the motorists surveyed felt that roads have become more dangerous, while around 60 percent said that they see in an increase in lane-swerving, one of the major causes of accidents."
Earlier this year, another study published in the UAE revealed that drivers between the ages of 18 and 24 in the country "do not follow traffic rules related to speeding, tailgating, seatbelts, use of indicators and distracted driving."
Despite the nation's efforts to raise awareness among drivers, it doesn't seem to be working in their favor.