UAE’s first holistic seat belt survey

Coinciding with the UAE Ministry of Interior signing a new law mandating the seat belt use by all passengers in addition to drivers, RoadSafetyUAE and QIC Insured announce the results of the UAE's most holistic seat belt survey. The survey was conducted in February 2017 and is based on a representative sample of more than 1,000 UAE residents.

The results are shared with the public in 2 steps due to the big volume of data. This first release sheds light on the overall knowledge with regards to the protective powers of seat belts as well as the use of seat belts by drivers, front-seat passengers and back-seat passengers and it provides insights linked to the role of the responsible driver (asking and prompting passengers to wear seat belts) and the reasons for not using seat belts. The second release in 2 weeks' time will share data points related to the child seat belt use.

Thomas Edelmann, Founder and Managing Director of RoadSafetyUAE: "We are very proud of this unique piece of research which times very well with the recent MOI announcement of the introduction of the holistic seat belt law. The findings of this study will help all stakeholders to develop hard-hitting awareness and education initiatives to accompany the implementation of this fantastic new law".

Frederik Bisbjerg, QIC Insured Executive Vice President, MENA Retail adds: "Seat belts save lives and spare us from injuries in case of car accidents. Our mission is to protect our customers and our eco-system, hence it is just logical to have worked on this holistic research project. We want to demonstrate in a credible and tangible manner how we at QIC Insured can contribute to better our society."

A) OVERALL KNOWLEDGE:
Overall, the knowledge level of respondents is sound, with 91% understanding, that seat belts protect drivers and front-seat passengers. This knowledge peaks with females, older respondents (35+), Westerners and Sharjah residents. The lowest knowledge levels can be observed with young respondents (18-24) and Emiratis.   


'Do you think, seat belts protect drivers and front-seat passengers in cars in case of accidents?'

SELECTED DATA POINTS

Total

Gender

Age Group

Nationality

 

Female

18 to 24

35 to 39

40+

Emirati

Arab Expat

Westerner

No

9%

5%

13%

5%

5%

15%

7%

4%

Yes

91%

95%

87%

95%

95%

85%

93%

96%

              
Interestingly, the knowledge level with regards to seat belts protecting back-seat passengers is significantly lower: just 81% think the same! This dimension peaks with females, the 35-39 year olds, and Westerners. The lowest values can be seen with young respondents (18-24), Emirati and Arab Expats.


'Do you think, seat belts protect back-seat passengers in cars in case of accidents?'

SELECTED DATA POINTS

Total

Gender

Age Group

Nationality

 

Female

18 to 24

35 to 39

40+

Emirati

Arab Expat

Westerner

No

19%

13%

24%

13%

19%

24%

26%

8%

Yes

81%

87%

76%

87%

81%

76%

74%

92%

As the new UAE seat belt law will add the back-seat passengers to the already long exiting law making seat belt use mandatory the front row, specific efforts need to be made to broadly educate the UAE on the importance of seat belts with regards to preventing injuries and fatalities to back-seat passengers!

B) DRIVERS:
78% of drivers state, they 'always' buckle up. This is a low number, considering that the mandatory seat belt law for front seat travelers has been in force for many years! The highest seat belt penetration we see for females, older drivers, Westerners, Asians and Arab Expats, and in Dubai and Sharjah.

larmingly low values we see for Emiratis (51%!) and very young drivers between 18-24 years (63%!). These values are so low, that there is an urgent need to address those 2 target audiences without any delay - they must understand the protective powers of seat belts!


'When you sit in the front seat as a driver, how often do you use your seat belt?'

SELECTED DATA

Total

Gender

Age Group

Nationality

POINTS

Female

18 to 24

40+

Emirati

Arab Expat

Asian

Westerner

Always

78%

85%

63%

83%

51%

82%

83%

100%

C) FRONT SEAT PASSENGERS:
Only 71% of front seat passengers 'always' use their seat belt. Like for drivers, this is a very low rate! Once again, females beat males, the old and experienced beat the young, and Arab Expats and Westerners stand out positively, as well as Sharjah.

The most alarming number we see for Emiratis (38%!) and the young segment of 18-24 years (52%), with below-par values for Arab Expats and Abu Dhabi.

'When you sit in the front seat as a passenger, how often do you use your seat belt?'

SELECTED DATA

Total

Gender

Age Group

Nationality

UAE Emirates

POINTS

Female

18 to 24

40+

Emirati

Arab Expat

Asian

Westerner

Abu Dhabi

Sharjah

Always

71%

78%

52%

80%

38%

60%

82%

88%

65%

80%

D) BACK SEAT PASSENGERS:
Another truly alarming figure is the use of seat belts by back-seat passengers: only 11% state they 'always' use seat belts! Alarming insofar, as the new UAE seat belt law makes it mandatory also for back-seat passengers to buckle up!

This poor behavior transcends all demographics and it calls for urgent and comprehensive education efforts of all concerned stakeholders: governmental entities, the media, corporations, the education segment (kindergartens, schools, universities) and platforms like RoadSafetyUAE.


'When you sit in the back seat (for example in taxis, or in friend's cars), how often do you use your seat belt?'

SELEC.

Total

Gender

Age Group

Nationality

UAE Emirates

DATA POINTS

Male

Female

18 to 24

25 to 29

30 to 34

35 to 39

40+

Emirati

Arab Expat

Asian

West.

AUH

DXB

SHJ

Always

11%

13%

7%

7%

11%

10%

12%

15%

12%

10%

10%

32%

10%

12%

9%

E) THE ROLE OF THE RESPONSIBLE DRIVER:
The research uncovers the role of the driver in asking and prompting his/her passengers to buckle up. This makes a driver a responsible driver! Only half of us (56%) fall in the category of 'responsible' drivers. Drivers asking their passengers with above-average scores are: older drivers, Westerners and Asians. The less responsible drivers are young drivers and Emiratis.


'When you are the driver of a car, do you ask your passengers to use their seat belt?'

SELECTED

Total

Age Group

Nationality

DATA POINTS

18 to 24

40+

Emirati

Asian

Westerner

Always

56%

34%

69%

38%

61%

67%

F) REASONS FOR NOT USING THE SEAT BELT / NOT PROMOTING PASSENGERS TO USE THE SEAT BELT:
In order to design targeted awareness and education initiatives, it is of paramount importance to understand the mindset for not using / not promoting the use of seat belts.

'You mentioned that you don't always wear your seat belt or ask your passengers to do so.
Please tell us why?'

1.

When I sit on the back seat, I feel safe enough without seat belt

55%

2.

On short trips, it is not needed to wear seat belts

25%

3.

I am a safe driver and I will not be involved in an accident, hence I don't need seat belts

14%

4.

Other safety features like airbags protect just as well as seat belts

13%

5.

Seat belts are inconvenient to wear

11%

6.

Seat belts crinkle my cloths

10%

7.

Seat belts don't increase safety

6%

8.

It is not part of our culture

5%

9.

I don't like the look of seat belts

5%

10.

Religious reasons

4%

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