x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Luxury is no promise of safety

Some luxury cars have such ineffectual safety features they can turn minor accidents into serious crashes, according to a road safety expert.

Some luxury cars have such ineffectual safety features they can turn minor accidents into serious crashes, according to a road safety expert. Dr Yaser Hawas, director of the roadway, transportation and traffic safety research centre at UAE University, said his team had identified cars that should be removed from sale because of the dangers they pose. Some luxury cars split in two in crashes at 10 kph, he said.

He would not say which cars they were. His team has looked at different types of cars crashing at the same impact speed and compared the consequences for drivers and passengers. The severity of casualties varied from make to make, he said. The centre conducts its own in-depth crash investigations because police data was "not enough", he said. The centre is running a project with Abu Dhabi Ministry of Interior and Health Authority-Abu Dhabi to investigate car crashes in Al Gharbia.

Earlier research by the centre showed that fewer accidents occur in areas covered by radar speed traps. The fact the UAE is adding more radars shows their effectiveness in reducing accidents, said Richard Mikhael, the vice president of sales and marketing for Sagem Sécurité. "Many people think radars are to provide tax money for government, but in countries like the UAE and France, the money that comes form radar fines is used to fund road safety projects," he said at the end of Abu Dhabi's international traffic safety management system symposium last week.

"So the goal behind increasing the number of radars is not to collect money, but to change behaviour." hdajani@thenational.ae