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Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 20 November 2018

Car-wreck sculpture carries vital message

Shaped to spell FYI, the piece serves as a warning to motorists of the consequences of dangerous driving and is being displayed by Nissan at campaigns with the Roads and Transport Authority, police and RoadSafetyUAE.
FYI, a sculpture made from crushed and mangled car parts, is used at road safety campaigns aimed at young drivers. Courtesy Nissan
FYI, a sculpture made from crushed and mangled car parts, is used at road safety campaigns aimed at young drivers. Courtesy Nissan

DUBAI // Crushed and mangled car parts retrieved from accidents and welded together to create a powerful sculpture form part of an awareness campaign being taken to colleges to catch students’ attention.

Shaped to spell FYI, the piece serves as a warning to motorists of the consequences of dangerous driving and is being displayed by Nissan at campaigns with the Roads and Transport Authority, police and RoadSafetyUAE.

“For awareness campaigns to be effective they cannot just be a one-off activation,” said Yolande Pineda, corporate communication director for Nissan Middle East,.

“It needs to be sustained and repeated in order to strike a chord with youth groups and ensure that they are really hearing what we are trying to say.”

The deep-rooted distress suffered by victims after even a small traffic mishap should be communicated across society, experts said.

“The incidence of psychological problems and post-traumatic stress disorder that can continue for years is quite high, not only for victims, but can also have a stressful impact on someone else in the car who witnesses the crash and may not be injured,” said Michal Grivna, professor at the College of Medicine and Health Sciences at UAE University in Al Ain.

“Even if there is no loss of life, there could be serious injuries leading to disability, long-term hospitalisation in case of spine or head injuries that could lead to brain trauma and affect vision and hearing.

“All traffic crashes, even a ­minor accident, can lead to psychological depression, avoidance of driving a car, mood swings and sleep disorders.”

Families can help to spread the message, doctors said.

“Once an accident happens only then do people realise the impact of their driving, but we need them to understand this before,” said Dr Nithyanandan Ramakrishnan, who is in charge of the emergency room at Medeor hospital.

“People come in with internal organ damage due to a crash. There can be further complications due to multiple injuries. Even a simple injury can leave a lasting psychological impact on the family.”

Authorities have warned of stricter implementation of traffic rules, such as impounding cars, black points and stiff fines for speeding, tailgating, swerving and use of mobile phones while driving.

Recent proposals include recommendations to jail reckless drivers for 24 hours, remove the buffer limit allowing drivers to exceed the speed limit by up to 20 kilometres an hour and to raise the minimum speed on motorways to 100kph from 60kph.

“Extensive study, mitigation plans, engineering reviews, benchmarking with similar countries, consultation with road safety experts, public awareness and training are required before raising the speed limit and removing the buffer limit,” said Muhammad Akber, a general manager for the Tristar Group, a liquid logistics solutions provider that organises safety campaigns in schools and labour accommodation.

rtalwar@thenational.ae