Background and Aims Road traffic injury (RTI) is a leading cause of death and injury in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Mortality from RTI is higher in the UAE compared to similar countries in the world (MoH, 2018). Wearing seatbelts reduce deaths among drivers and front seat occupants by 45–50% (WHO, 2018). The enforcement and regular observation of seatbelt are essential to control deaths from RTIs. This study aims to estimate seatbelt use in Abu-Dhabi emirate, UAE.
Methods A cross sectional analysis, using direct observation of drivers and front seat passengers at petrol stations in Abu Dhabi and Al Ain, the two large cities in Abu Dhabi emirate, was undertaken during January-March 2020, to assess compliance with the seatbelt law in the UAE.
Results A sample size of 706 motor vehicles was approached, and the response was 87.4%. Overall, 45.5% of drivers and 50% of front seat passengers wore seatbelts. Women (55.7%) were more compliant with seatbelts compared to men (p<0.04). Local citizens were less compliant with seatbelts compared to nonlocals (39.1% vis-a-vis 44.2; p<0.05).
Conclusions The results showed a slight improvement in seatbelts use in Abu Dhabi emirate, compared with previous estimates by Barss et al. (2008), where 10% of local citizens and 40% of nonlocal citizens were reported using seatbelts (2008). More efforts are thus needed to maintain the improvements made. The new data will help directing the public attention to increase awareness and enforcement of seatbelt use among the population in the UAE.
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