Zurich and RoadSafetyUAE.com study unlocks reasons UAE motorists speed

Research released by global insurer Zurich and RoadSafetyUAE.com sheds light on the leading causes of speeding in the UAE.

According to respondents to a YouGov survey, the top three reasons UAE motorists speed are because they are running late (67 percent), for fun or to impress others (53 percent), and out of habit (45 percent). Next on the list is knowledge of speed camera locations (39 percent), followed by the belief that the roads are designed for speed (27 percent), a desire to test a car's abilities (22 percent), and justification that speeding is more culturally accepted in the UAE than back home (21 percent).

The final two explanations are both related to the enforcement of speed limits, with 15 percent of drivers thinking they are unlikely to be caught, and 5 percent saying they are undeterred by what they consider to be low speeding fines.

Encouragingly, 82 percent of UAE drivers claim not to have driven faster than the official maximum enforced speed limits of 140km/h. However, this still means nearly one in five (18 percent) have exceeded this limit, with 5 percent claiming to have driven at speeds between 180-260km/h. 26 percent of Abu Dhabi drivers claim to have driven in excess of 140km/h, while only 15 percent of Dubai drivers and 13 percent of Sharjah drivers claim the same.

Awareness that speeding is the main contributor to accidents and fatalities on the UAE's road is high, with 83 percent supporting this view. This perhaps explains why the overwhelming majority of respondents (86 percent) believe the current speed limits are about right or even too high, although 12 percent feel they are too low and 1 percent wants to see them abolished.

Young drivers especially prone to speeding
Exceeding the limit is especially prevalent among young drivers with 29 percent of 18-24 year olds surveyed admitting to speeding on a quarter or more of their trips. Equally concerning, 38 percent say they have exceeded 150kp/h on the country's roads in the past. This is despite an overwhelming majority (89 percent) of young people agreeing that speeding is the main contributor to traffic accidents and fatalities in the UAE.

In comparison, 19 percent of drivers as a whole say they regularly speed, and only 13 percent of over 40s. Likewise, just 11 percent of drivers older than 40 admit to having driven faster than 150kp/h in the UAE.

Despite their propensity for fast driving, only 14 percent of motorists aged 18-24 want to see speed limits increased. Instead, 82 percent believe current limits are about right, while 4 percent want them reduced.

When asked to justify their reasons for speeding, 72 percent of young drivers blame their actions on running late, 55 percent want to impress others, 53 percent say they are comfortable speeding as they know where most speed cameras are located, and 30 percent say their cars are meant to be driven fast.

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