Can I use my phone when driving in the UAE? Mobile phone laws explained

Mobile phone use while driving is one of the most controversial driving subjects. While many drivers overlook the dangers of using their phones, studies show that using your phone while driving increases the probability of a car crash by 23%. Wecashanycar finds out more about the dangers and UAE traffic laws governing mobile phone use.

The UAE takes top global mobile phone position

The following countries have the highest per capita cellphone use:

  • UAE
  • Montenegro
  • Macau, China
  • The Cayman Islands
  • Hong Kong
  • Angulla
  • Qatar
  • Bahrain
  • Saudi Arabia
  • St. Kitts & Nevis

                                                                                                   Bloomberg

 

Is it really that dangerous?

Most drivers use their phones when driving because they assume that they can easily multitask. However statistics show that talking on a cellphone reduces the ability to drive by 37%, making it one of the biggest distractions amongst motorists. Experts have also revealed that texting while driving is six times more dangerous than drunk driving. These figures are clear proof of the dangers of using phones when driving.

 

Controversies of using a mobile phone while driving

There have been many controversies surrounding the use of mobile phones while driving. Mobile phone companies have argued that despite the dramatic increase in the number of mobile phone subscribers in the recent years, there are fewer fatal crashes revealing a negative correlation between the use of mobile devices and car crashes. Many motorists have also argued that using handsfree mobile devices is less dangerous as it is similar to holding conversations with passengers in your car. However, most studies have poked holes in these arguments, revealing the risks of using mobile phones, whether on hands free or otherwise increases the risk of car crashes and poses danger to both the drivers and other motorists.

What are the dangers of using your mobile phones while driving?

There are a couple of ways that explain why you can get distracted when you use your mobile phone when driving:-

  1. You must take yours eyes off the road to check who is calling or read a text
  2. When you are too engaged in a telephone conversation you tend to focus more on your callers than driving
  3. When you take off your hands from the steering wheel so as to respond to text messages
  4. When you take off your eyes from the road and hands off the wheel to reach out for a ringing cell phones in the back seat or inside your bag
  5. You risk causing an accident if  an emotional message is relayed to you when you are driving

 

UAE  traffic laws on use of mobile phones     

The grim statistics in many studies show the correlation between car crashes and the use of mobile phones and has led many countries to create stringent laws against the use of cellphones while driving.

The UAE categorizes the use of mobile phone while driving as a traffic offence because it distracts motorists and endangers other road users. Following the revision of the UAE traffic laws in 2017, the Ministry of Interior increased the penalties for using mobile phones while driving and other distractions from Dh.200 to Dh.800 in fines and four black points.

This fine applies to both Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Sharjah and every other Emirate; and was done with the aim of reducing the fatalities caused by distracted driving.  In 2018, the UAE police reported fining 88,619 motorists for driving while using their phones. Despite this, 13% of traffic-related deaths were caused by distracted driving.

This negative impact of distracted driving has necessitated the Ministry of Interior to form the UAE Federal Traffic Council that will be tasked with creating awareness on the dangers of various traffic distractions. This body will comprise various arms of the government and strategic private sector partners that will conduct a three-month campaign  using lectures, workshops and various media channels.

Tips for reducing the use of mobile phones while driving

If not for your safety and that of other motorists, you must avoid using your mobile phone while driving to avoid being fined. Wecashanycar offers the following tips for motorists who are struggling with driving while using mobile phones:-

  1. Avoid using a hand held mobile phone at all costs. If you must have a phone conversation while driving, we suggest that you should opt for hands-free devices.
  2. The best time to use your mobile device is when your car is parked, not while driving or when stuck in traffic
  3. Always pre-set your navigation prior to starting your journey. This will prevent you from being distracted while driving
  4. Avoid all emotional conversations while driving, unless you are involved in an accident, upon which you ought to stop your car and call the police
  5. Avoid using your cellphone during bad weather and heavy traffic as these times require your maximum focus
  6. If you must answer a call, inform your caller that you are driving and you will return their call
  7. Use smart apps to respond to text messages.

On the other hand, if you have already fallen victim of a traffic fine because of using your mobile phone in Dubai, read our blog post: Get 100% discount on your traffic fines in the Dubai,  to learn how you can get  waivers on this and any other outstanding fines.

Wecashanycar has been operating as a successful car trader in the UAE for more than four years. We are fully aware of all the latest UAE traffic rules and regulations. To sell your used car, choose wecashanycar for excellent service in a safe, hassle-free and professional manner.

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