News Middle East19 Oct 2020

UAE:Survey looks into causes of traffic jams

| 19 Oct 2020

A car occupancy survey in the UAE has revealed a high percentage of car dependency (83%) as compared to public and alternative transport. About 6 out of 10 motorists are alone in their cars for 80-100% of trips.

?Noor Takaful | Ethical Insurance sponsored the survey which was carried out in partnership with RoadSafetyUAE which says that this is the first ever such survey in the UAE.

Mr Thomas Edelmann, founder & managing director of RoadSafetyUAE, said, “This study creates new and meaningful datapoints by elevating the road safety discussion, shifting from anecdotal evidence to fact-based findings.”

“Along with our CSR partner Noor Takaful| Ethical Insurance, we wanted to better understand the situation on our roads during peak traffic periods, which typically happen on working days, as opposed to weekends,” he added.

Other studies conducted by RoadSafetyUAE and Noor Takaful| Ethical Insurance observe that the UAE’s motorists recognise and give due credit to the UAE authorities for continuously improving road infrastructure. Despite these ongoing efforts, traffic jams are still a regular occurrence.

“We found that a majority, specifically 54% of drivers, drive themselves. 67% of these drivers drive to and from work, which explains the traffic congestion at peak commute times. We are publishing these figures now so that we can prepare initiatives, backed by important data, to improve safety on UAE roads,” said Rawdha AlSakit, head of marketing for Noor Takaful.

Traffic congestion is a key factor in road safety, as traffic jams lead to an increase in impolite and dangerous behaviour. It also comes at a cost to the economy in the form of lost working hours, causes inconvenience to drivers with extra travel time and creates an unnecessary toll on the environment. Hence, from a road safety perspective as well as from a sustainability standpoint, traffic jams need to be avoided.

The findings include:

A)Drivers vs passengers and  transportation modes

During the working week, 54% drive themselves, 29% are passengers (20% in private cars and 9% in taxis, limos, vans/minibuses), 13% use public transportation (metro, bus), and 4% use alternative means (walking, bicycle, scooter).

An 83% overall dependency on cars (54% drive themselves + 20% passengers in private cars + 9% taxis, limos, vans/minibuses) is very high at a global level, so is the use of private cars with 74% (54% drive themselves + 20% passengers in private cars). The 22% aggregated use of public transportation (13% bus, metro + 9% taxis, limos, vans/minibuses) is low on global level, as is the use of alternative means of transportation with 4%.

B)Why people take to the roads

Of the 54% driving themselves,

  • 67% commute to and from work,
  • 60% drive for personal or household chores like grocery shopping,
  • 50% use their cars for business purpose like meetings, appointments and business errands
  • 50% for entertainment (restaurants, the cinema, shopping malls, sport activities, playdates
  • 29% for school runs.

Of the 29% who are passengers in private cars, taxis, limos, vans/minibuses,

  • 47% commute to work,
  • 38% travel for personal or household chores like grocery shopping,
  • 33% hire transport for entertainment including to restaurants, the cinema, shopping malls, sport activities, play dates,
  • 22% do it for business purposes like meetings, appointments, business errands
  • 10% use them for school runs.

C)Number of trips per day

Of the 54% driving themselves,

  • 7% use their car just 1x per day,
  • 35% use their car 2x per day (to and from work),
  • 23% use their car 3x per day, and
  • 35% use their car 4x and more per day.

Of the 29% who are passengers in private cars, taxis, limos, vans/minibuses,

  • 20% conduct 1x trip per day
  • 46% are in 2x trips per day (to and from work),
  • 16% do 3x trips per day, and
  • 19% are passengers in more than 4x trips per day.

D) The number of trips being conducted alone or in company, and the number of passengers

Of the 54% driving themselves,

38% are always driving alone (100% of trips),

31% are driving alone in 80-90% of their trips,

22% are driving alone in 50-70% of their trips, and

9% spend 0-40% of their trips alone.

Of the 62% drivers who have others in their cars with them,

  • 48% have 1 passenger,
  • 30% have 2 passengers,
  • 13% have 3 passengers, and
  • 8% have 4 or more passenger.

D)The number of trips being conducted with only one passenger or with co-passengers, and the number of co-passengers

Of those 29% who are passengers in private cars, taxis, limos, vans/minibuses,

  • 21% are always alone with their driver (100% of trips),
  • 21% are sole passengers in 80-90% of their trips,
  • 26% are the only passenger in 50-70% of their trips, and
  • 33% do 0-40% of their trips as the only passenger.

Of those 79% who are travelling as passengers and who have other passengers with them,

  • 31% have 1 more passenger with them,
  • 29% have 2 more passengers with them,
  • 16% have 3 more passengers with them, and
  • 23% have 4 or more passengers with them

This survey was conducted by a global online research company in March 2020 with a UAE representative sample of 1,005 respondents.

RoadSafetyUAE’s vision is to contribute to reducing the number of road traffic fatalities, injuries and accidents in the UAE. Its mission is to raise the awareness of proper conduct on the road.

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