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UAE truck drivers have revealed the personal impact of the challenges they face carrying out their work, with 57% of drivers claiming to always or sometimes experience stress during their work according to a new study, and the majority finding that the stress of the job carries over into their personal lives
The study highlighted truck drivers’ concerns in relation to other drivers. When asked how other road users could adapt their driving style to facilitate truck drivers’ own driving experiences, 50% of drivers raised the issue of others maintaining a safe distance from trucks; 37% said they could better observe traffic regulations; and 33% suggested that they could be more considerate of truck drivers.
It is estimated that approximately 20% of the UAE automotive market is made up of commercial vehicles (trucks, vans, and buses), with past research shared by the WHO indicating that around 11% of road traffic accidents involved trucks or buses.
The project was run in collaboration with three leading UAE fleet operators - Al Ahli General Transport, Masafi Land Transport and Ocean City Transport - who provided important input. Continental also partnered with RoadSafetyUAE, the Emirates’ leading road safety portal, which shares truck safety advice, including for other road users and fleet operators, on its website.
Thomas Edelmann, founder of RoadSafetyUAE, commented, “In previous workshops with the Abu Dhabi police traffic department, police officers stated that their main concerns with regards to truck accidents are truck driver fatigue and the poor conditions of the truck tyres. Driver fatigue as well as the causes of stress for truck drivers are often overlooked and hence, I am exhilarated that Continental initiated this campaign to shed light on the importance of truck safety and introduce the human element to this subject. I encourage all truck operating companies to follow Continental's lead and focus on the importance of this topic.”
The study, which involved speaking to 54 truck drivers from around the UAE, was conducted by Continental as part of its global Vison Zero safety initiative. It follows on from other similar studies conducted by the brand in the Emirates regarding the attitude of parents of children of school age towards their car tyres, and the awareness of tyre safety among new drivers.
As a global leader in automotive technological advancements and road safety, for both passenger and commercial vehicles, Continental’s global Vision Zero initiative aims to totally eradicate road accidents and deliver zero fatalities, zero injuries and zero accidents. The study was commissioned by Continental as part of its approach to delivering Vision Zero through enhancing drivers’ knowledge, attitude and awareness.
Karl Kucera, general manager of Continental Middle East, said, “We wanted to help educate people about the personal experiences and stresses experienced by the UAE’s truck drivers, people who fulfil a vital role for the country’s economy. Based on the findings, it is clear that drivers would benefit from a greater focus on training and support with content on how to deal with the stresses they face. At the same time, there answers send a clear message to other road users about the effect their own driving styles can have on truck drivers’ abilities to conduct their work safely.”