Despite the vastly different cultures between the United Arab Emirates and the United States, the Emirate of Abu Dhabi is finalizing a nine-month contract agreement with the Texas A&M Transportation Institute’s Center for Transportation Safety (CTS). The project will center on crash investigation and post-crash site inspection and analysis.
“The United Arab Emirates, and especially the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, has an extremely high fatality rate,” says Associate Research Scientist Troy Walden, who will lead the project for CTS. “According to its Department of Transport [DOT], the Abu Dhabi fatality rate [based on population] is 50 percent higher than in the United States.”
Walden says the DOT is motivated in making its roads safer, and wants to start that process by developing a comprehensive set of procedures and guidelines that deal with the investigation and analysis of its fatal and injury crashes. Walden will produce separate guidebooks for both the DOT and Abu Dhabi law enforcement officers.
The DOT guidebook will cover crash investigation requirements, data analysis requirements and options for a reporting process. The guidebook for law enforcement officers will focus on proper data collection and investigation procedures.
Walden says a goal of the DOT is to have standardized crash-reporting forms. “By having all these elements in place, the DOT will be able to conduct effective crash analysis so that countermeasures can be identified and then placed into effect,” he says. “And that’s the first step in reducing fatalities and injury-related crashes.”
According to a DOT publication, 40 percent of all fatalities in Abu Dhabi involve pedestrians. The publication identifies Abu Dhabi’s poor driving standards and its high population of non-residents as contributing to the overall traffic deaths.
“Because of the differences in the way our countries operate, this in an extremely interesting project for us,” Walden says. “I think the DOT is seeking direction from us so we can work together in pinpointing the causes of the crashes and help suggest effective countermeasures.”