x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 20 July 2017

Sudden swerving causes 41 deaths on Dubai roads in 2013

There were more than 2,600 traffic accidents in Dubai last year, 641 of them caused by swerving between lanes.

Three people die in a traffic collision on Emirates Road going towards Abu Dhabi which resulted in the death of the driver of a pick-up truck and his passengers. Photo Courtesy Dubai Police
Three people die in a traffic collision on Emirates Road going towards Abu Dhabi which resulted in the death of the driver of a pick-up truck and his passengers. Photo Courtesy Dubai Police

DUBAI // More than 40 people were killed last year in crashes caused by drivers suddenly swerving, figures from Dubai Police show.

Of the 2,633 road accidents police recorded last year, 641 crashes and 41 deaths were the result of motorists changing lanes without warning.

The practice also left 600 people injured.

Police released the figures at the launch of a driver-awareness initiative, Sudden Swerve Campaign, run in collaboration with the private company World Security.

“Ninety per cent of the time it is the driver’s fault, because of their lack of attention and because they did not use a signal,” said Maj Gen Mohammed Al Zafeen, head of the Dubai Police traffic department.

“It is important for a driver to signal in order to show the direction they are heading.”

He said a high percentage of drivers did not use indicators.

Swerving suddenly between lanes carries a Dh200 fine and four black points on the licence.

But Gen Al Zafeen said four black points might not be enough punishment.

“In the West, it has become part of the driving culture to always signal, even if there are no cars and the driver is heading into his own garage,” he said.

Police said drivers should always ensure a lane was clear before manoeuvring and check the blind spot by looking over their shoulder.

It is also important to steer gradually into the new lane while maintaining speed or slightly increasing it.

In 2012, 21 people were killed in 498 accidents caused by sudden swerving, with 477 people injured.

The total number of traffic accidents that year was 2,561.

“We hope that this campaign succeeds in raising awareness on the issue since there has been an increase of swerve-related accidents since last year,” said Pravat Pradhan, manager of sales and marketing at World Security.

dmoukhallati@thenational.ae