x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 17 January 2018

Simulated roll-overs give Dubai students first-hand lessons on road safety

University students will be shown how to be better drivers in a bid to reduce fatal crashes.

Provided photo of the roll-over experience, a receptive simulator helps students at Indian university, Bits Pilani realise the advantages of wearing seatbelts. A road-safety awareness campaign kicked off on Sunday to promote good driving habits among university students. Courtesy of Ciel Marketing and Events
Provided photo of the roll-over experience, a receptive simulator helps students at Indian university, Bits Pilani realise the advantages of wearing seatbelts. A road-safety awareness campaign kicked off on Sunday to promote good driving habits among university students. Courtesy of Ciel Marketing and Events

DUBAI // A new initiative that promotes safe driving habits among youth will focus on cautious driving skills over speed.

The campaign, launched on Sunday by FedEx Express and supported by Dubai Police and the Emirates Motor Sports Federation, will run until March 25.

More than 2,000 students at five Dubai-based universities will attend interactive lectures and participate in a simulator experience.

About 375 students turned up for the opening at the Indian university, Bits Pilani.

The four other participating universities include Higher Colleges of Technology (HCT) Dubai Women’s Campus, the American University in Dubai, Manipal University and HCT Dubai Men’s Campus.

“Most young drivers think they are confident but don’t have the awareness and anticipation,” said Roshanara Sait, a road safety expert and director of Ciel Marketing and Events, which organised the campaign. “There’s no point in being confident when you don’t have the other two.”

The programme includes theory, visuals and a driving challenge.

Topics include common causes of accidents, road fatalities, the psychology of driving, and a technical discussion on the correct sitting position, how to brake, the use of seat belts. It also covers stopping distances and the three-second rule – a simple way to check you are at a safe distance from the car in front.

A simulated roll-over accident will help students see the advantages of seat belts. There will also be graphic videos showing the benefits of seat belts for front and rear passengers, and the dangers of texting and driving, along with a “shocking” video on driving standards.

Talks also include scanning the environment, identifying potential hazards and distraction, such as the use of mobile phones and loud music, mirror adjustments, blind spots and shoulder check.

The 45-minute presentation provides an overview on aggression on the roads. The programme will culminate with a FedEx driving skills challenge competition on March 25 at the HCT Dubai Men’s Campus, with each university nominating a team of 16 members.

The students will experience manoeuvres to improve their car handling abilities, work towards improving their driving techniques and understand the concept of using skill over speed. Six winners – three male and three female – will be appointed as “road safety ambassadors”.

rruiz@thenational.ae