Anyone who has been out on UAE roads for even a few days would have observed the exceedingly high instances of motorists changing lanes without indicating. We have written about this serious offence in many of our previously published columns. But unfortunately, despite authorities imposing fines of up to Dh400 and black points for this offence, there are hundreds of motorists nonchalantly continuing to change lanes, merge onto highways, exit highways, turn at T-junctions or four-way junctions or exit roundabouts without indicating. In fact, a recent study that observed 5,000 manoeuvres on UAE roads between February and June 2019 has found that indicators were not used in 47 per cent of instances.

The non-representative ‘behind the wheel’ study conducted by RoadSafetyUAE has found that non-use of indicators is not limited to a particular type of vehicle or seen on a particular type of road. It was observed that even commercial drivers frequently break the law and endanger their passengers by not indicating.

“As always in road safety, it is up to us – the drivers – to lead by example and to display a caring attitude towards ourselves and everyone around us. It’s the law to use the indicator so let’s just do it!”, states Thomas Edelmann, Managing Director of RoadSafetyUAE. He suggests that fleet operators should train their drivers and engage with them in order to make them role models for proper conduct, which will then rub-off to drivers of private vehicles and improve the use of indicators overall. “It was interesting to observe in our ‘behind the wheel’ study, that the use of indicators seems to be ‘infectious’!  Meaning, that if one vehicle actually does use the indicators, suddenly you see many other vehicles around also using their indicators, which is very encouraging and it substantiates the statement that we all have to lead by example!”, Edelmann adds.

The study assumes great significance as official data has shown sudden lane change and lane swerving were the leading cause of road fatalities in the UAE in 2018, killing 59 people and causing major injuries to 495.  

RoadSafetyUAE also urges motorists to keep the below tips in mind:

  1. Start indicating a few seconds before you actually move, to make others aware
  2. Check in front & around you – check mirrors – indicate before your move – look over your left shoulder – then manoeuvre!
  3. When you see somebody else indicating, be polite and caring and allow them to move
  4. Indicate always when you want to:
    • Change lanes
    • Take a turn or exit/enter a highway
    • Exit a roundabout
    • Pull out of a parking slot