Sunday, August 15, 2010

Driver's Ed

It's long been a tradition to disparage drivers from other states in the US.  Pennsylvania's don't like Jersey drivers, DC residents don't like MD drivers, etc.  There's active debate about who the worst drivers are...a forgotten turn signal, passing on the right, or changing lanes too quickly usually top the list of offensives.

Drivers in Dubai take the whole enchilada.  The things I see on a daily basis are truly insane.  Driving 100mph on the shoulder, cutting across 6 lanes of high-speed traffic, and my personal favorite - skidding to a halt and putting the car in reverse on the highway and backing down the lane to take a missed exit.  Not surprisingly people die on Dubai highways almost everyday.

According to a 2006 UN report, the UAE’s roads are the third most dangerous in the world, with 20 deaths per 100,000 population. Saudi Arabia is the most dangerous with 23 deaths per 100,000 population, and Oman second with 21 deaths per 100,000 population.  Statistics from the Dubai Traffic Authority indicate that 97 per cent of accidents in the emirate were caused by male drivers.

With the winter rain comes even more chaos than usual. One wet February morning saw 500 accidents of varying seriousness reported before 9.00am, the result of motorists failing to adapt to the wet road conditions, speeding and not leaving enough distance from the vehicle in front. By the end of two days of rain, figures showed there had been an accident every two minutes during that period.

And if that doesn't do you in, there is the local road rage, where if you decide you don't like the behavior of the driving in front of you (typically they are driving 'safe') you follow them with about 6 inches between your bumpers and flash your high beams repeatedly in order to blind and harass them.  Suddenly people who were in such a hurry that they were barreling down the road at 120mph, have the time to abuse you for driving the speed limit.

So, we've got a special little nugget here to show you just how out of control the situation is.  This a group of local boys who decided to have some fun, just a few weeks ago, on the main six-lane road - Sheikh Zayed - that runs through all of Dubai.  And, of course, they took the time to record their fun.  Rest assured this isn't some country road or in the middle of the desert.  It's the most traveled road in Dubai.

Enjoy the mayhem.  Oh, and did I mention that one of the guys is a police officer?

1 comment:

jimdad said...

No wonder Saudi women are so enthusiastic about their right to drive - who wants to miss out on all this highway fun?