Dubai drivers beware: Even texting 'Lol' when driving can be fatal

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By Dhanusha Gokulan (Reporter )  www.khaleejtimes.com

You’re driving at 88kmph and you take your eyes off the road for five seconds to check that urgent email from your boss. In those five seconds, unknown to you, your car has swerved off your lane, which is basically like driving the distance of a football field blind folded.

A traffic officer from Oman tests RTA's VirtuDrive simulator during the authority's Gulf Traffic Week event at the Mall of the Emirates in Dubai on Tuesday. - Photo by Dhes Handumon
A traffic officer from Oman tests RTA’s VirtuDrive simulator during the authority’s Gulf Traffic Week event at the Mall of the Emirates in Dubai on Tuesday. – Photo by Dhes Handumon

“You are 23 times more likely to end up in a crash while you are texting and driving, causing serious injury to yourself and your vehicle,” said Deema Hussein, Traffic Awareness Senior Manager, Traffic Department, Traffic and Roads Agency, RTA.

However, despite the high incident rates and the warning issues to Dubai residents, people are still using their phones while driving. Ministry of Interior Statistics for 2015 showed that using the phone while driving violations have counted for 97,172 across the UAE.

Speaking to Khaleej Times at the launch of Gulf Traffic Week awareness campaigns in Mall of the Emirates, Dubai, Hussein stated that most people find it very hard to admit that they are using the phone while driving.

“Many people are text messaging, using Instagram, taking videos and sending snap chats while they are behind the wheel,” said Hussein. More info

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