In light of Abu Dhabi Public Health Centre’s keenness to boost the preventative measures to avoid car accident injuries, at the same time as being conscious of the significance of awareness-raising about safe driving, in order to save the lives of citizens and inhabitants in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, ADPHC has launched the initiative "Together for a Safe Driving".

Such an initiative is meant to consider safety issues and raise awareness about the importance of using seat belts in particular and safe driving in general.

Injuries are a main public health concern. According to the statistics for fatal injuries in Abu Dhabi during the year 2019, 57% of the fatal injuries reported were due to traffic crash accidents.

Therefore, Abu Dhabi Public Health Centre has launched an awareness-raising initiative that targets society and parents to ensure people are fully aware of the significance of safety issue when driving, and committing to different safety measures adopted in order to protect themselves and their loved ones. Among those significant measures are; using seat belts, for both adults and children; driving at low speeds; committing to the observance of traffic rules; avoiding driving when feeling tired or fatigued; avoiding any distractions, including phone calls, etc.; and keeping hands on the driving wheel while concentrating only on the road. Studies suggest that seat belts can help save lives and reduce injuries due to traffic crash accidents. As per reports by the World Health Organization, fatalities are reduced by 40- 50% among riders in the front seats, and by 25-75% among riders in the back seats, when seat belts are used.

"Seat belts available in vehicles are designed for adults and not for children; so, we need to ensure the introduction of an additional safety system to protect children within a vehicle, such as children’s car safety seats that offer inclusive protection when used properly according to a child's age, weight and growth", added Mrs. Amal Mubarak Mady, Head of the Department of Corporate Environmental Health and Safety.

 Adults' seat belts used nowadays can cause injury to neck and abdomen when used by a child. This is due to the fact that seat belts should be fastened on the hard parts of the human body, i.e. shoulders, pelvis, hips, since these areas can resist both under-steer and over-steer forces during a crash, as stated by Mrs. Samira AL Kuthairy, Head of the Corporate Safety Department:  The best thing you can do as parents and care givers is to act as a role model for children and teenagers, by complying with safety measures. Studies suggest that children who are used to watching their parents' compliance with safety measures are the most likely to commit to them themselves when they become adults, since children learn more through practice rather than being instructed verbally. So, try to show your children safe driving practices. Begin with yourself and stick to safe driving rules all the time, especially in the company of children and teenagers. Make sure that you and other riders wear seat belts, all the way along, and avoid high speeds, using the phone, or being focused on anything but the road. Also, make sure to wear the helmet necessary to whatever kind of riding you choose, whether a bicycle or a motor-cycle. We believe sticking to such rules may help save the lives of your loved ones and promoting their good safety habits and practices throughout their whole life.

Needless to mention that the best role models in this regard are our blessed rulers and honourable sheikhs, who always act as perfect examples of compliance with safety measures such as wearing suitable helmets when riding bicycles and practising other activities. Among such practices, also, is fastening seat belts while driving their vehicles.

Finally, we, in Abu Dhabi Public Health Centre, wish all in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi to stay safe and healthy, and to always try to protect themselves and their loved ones, and keep them safe from potential car crash accidents by encouraging them to maintain safe driving practices.

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