UAE Driving Culture: The ‘10 Golden Rules’

  • What should be the ingredients of a Positive UAE Driving Culture?
  • Many references made to ‘lack of’ or ‘poor’ UAE Driving Culture
  • ‘10 Golden Rules’ to be adopted across all ethnic/nationality/age groups

The UAE is making good progress in increasing road safety and in reducing the number of accidents, injuries and fatalities on our roads. In the last 10 years the number of fatalities could be reduced by 50% to 525 in 2017. Despite of these commendable achievements, many remarks are made with regards to the lack of a positive driving culture, often in the context of the UAE being a melting pot of residents with diverse backgrounds.

Several studies conducted in the UAE prove the fact that UAE motorist perceive high levels of dangerous driving and the lack of consideration for others. Behavior studies linked to the main killers on our roads uncovered a lot of behavior improvement potentials with regard to increasing the safety of motorists, their passengers and other road users.

“We asked ourselves what is the UAE driving culture, or better even: what should a positive UAE driving culture be? What would be the ingredients of such a driving culture?”, Thomas Edelmann, Managing Director of RoadSafetyUAE states. “We listened to many stakeholders involved in increasing road safety in our country, like Governmental Entities, the media, corporations and road users over the last couple of years. Over and over again the lack of a positive road culture was lamented. Based on available statistics about the main killers on our roads and on globally recognized pillars of road safety, we formalized our view of the ’10 Golden Rules’ for the desired positive UAE driving culture. We were not shy in using the words Golden Rules, as road traffic fatalities are an area of national priority (‘UAE Vision 2021’), and are recognized as the #2 killer in the UAE overall, and the #1 killer for kids below the age of 15 years. We need to change our driving culture with a sense of significant importance and urgency!”, he continues.



  1. Caring & Polite Behavior: Treat others like you want to be treated!
  2. Wear Seat Belts: Everyone & Always!
  3. Drive Defensively: Avoid taking risks!
  4. No Distractions!
  5. No Tailgating: Always keep the proper distance to the vehicle in front, in all weather conditions!
  6. No Speeding: Start every trip 10 minutes early!
  7. Use the indicator: Timely and before every maneuver!
  8. No Driving Under the Influence!
  9. Care for Pedestrians and Weaker Road Users!
  10. Teach Our Kids: Parents, Nurseries, Schools and Universities must protect our kids of today & nurture the next generation of caring and safe traffic participants!    

We want to comment on some of these Golden Rules:

  • If we get the spirit/mindset of ‘1. Caring & Polite Behavior’ established, it will solve all of the other shortcomings! It must be the umbrella and the foundation of a positive UAE driving culture.
  • ‘2. Wear Seat Belts: Everyone & Always!’ is clear and straight forward, as we still see 60% of fatalities (1-9/2017 Abu Dhabi) due to non-use of seat belts. In addition, many kids can still be seen without proper restraint systems. It’s the law! The holistic seat belt law came in force in 2017!
  • The Golden Rules ‘3-7’ address the most dangerous driving behavior linked to the main killers on our roads.
  • ‘8. No Driving Under the Influence!’ means all banned substances including prescription medicine. Dubai Police on their official website states this as the #1 cause of accidents in Dubai!  
  • The same source labels ‘9. Care for Pedestrians and Weaker Road Users!’ as the #1 cause of death in Dubai.
  • We are particularly passionate about ‘10. Teach Our Kids’, as all involved stakeholder – including parents – must make sure to educate our children! We need mandatory curriculum content for all grades/years starting with Kindergarten all the way up to Universities. We need to protect or kids today and we must make sure that when the kids of today get behind the wheel in a few years, we have already established the correct positive safety habits with them!

We would like to invite the public to comment on these ’10 Golden Rules’ and to help us to fine tune those. We would like all stakeholders involved in improving the road safety in the UAE to embrace these ’10 Golden Rules’ and to share them with their respective audiences, over and over again.

RoadSafetyUAE created a dedicated topic on the on-line portal: