NAT Dubai traffic
Traffic along Sheikh Zayed Road. The survey showed a low dependency on public transport Image Credit: Gulf News Archives

Dubai: Private cars represent the huge majority of people on ͵羺 roads, accounting for almost three in four people, suggests the first ever ‘͵羺 Car Occupancy Study’, released on Sunday.

The survey, held in March with a ͵羺 representative sample of 1,005 respondents, said private cars represent 74 per cent of road users (54 per cent of them as drivers and 20 per cent as passengers). Conducted by RoadSafety͵羺 and Noor Takaful | Ethical Insurance, the survey also showed a low dependency on public transport, with only 22 per cent of people of using a bus, metro, taxi, limousine, van or minibus.

The study explored who prefers driving vs being a passenger, and how often, as well as why trips happen and whether drivers and passengers travel alone or with others. During work days, 54 per cent drive themselves, 29 per cent are passengers, 13 per cent use public transportation (metro and bus), and four per cent use alternative means (walking, bicycle, scooter).

Rajesh Sethi

“While the COVID-19 pandemic has changed life as we knew it and we resumed ‘normality’ again, traffic has picked up and roads are becoming more congested. Road safety will remain an important concern. Noor Takaful in partnership with RoadSafety͵羺 is committed to the well-being of the ͵羺,” said Rajesh Sethi, CEO of Dar Al Takaful, the holding company of Noor Takaful.

Thomas Edelmann

Thomas Edelmann, founder and managing director of RoadSafety͵羺, said: “Subjectively, we might have the impression that the majority of vehicles around us are only occupied by one person and rarely by more. This study creates new and meaningful data-points by elevating the road safety discussion, shifting from anecdotal evidence to fact-based findings.”

Why people take to the roads
Of the 54 per cent driving themselves
* 67 per cent commute to and from work,
* 60 per cent drive for personal or household chores like grocery shopping,
* 50 per cent use their cars for business purpose like meetings, appointments and business errands
* 50 per cent for entertainment (restaurants, the cinema, shopping malls, sport activities, etc)
* 29 per cent for school runs.
Of the 29 per cent who are passengers in private cars, taxis, limousines, vans or minibuses,
* 47 per cent commute to work,
* 38 per cent travel for personal or household chores like grocery shopping,
* 33 per cent hire transport for entertainment including to restaurants, the cinema, shopping malls, sport activities, play dates,
* 22 per cent do it for business purposes like meetings, appointments, business errands
* 10 per cent use them for school runs

Rawdha AlSakit, head of marketing for Noor Takaful, said: “We found that a majority, specifically 54 per cent, drive themselves. 67 per cent of these drivers drive to and from work, which explains the traffic congestion at peak commute times. We are publishing these figures now so that we can prepare initiatives, backed by important data, to improve safety on ͵羺 roads.”