“But,” the Goat hears you protest, “There are so many more Indians in Dubai, therefore…”
Fair comment. The Goat actually found some figures for the demographics of nationalities in Dubai. Various uncited sources, because this is a blog and not a thesis, come up with several conflicting sets of figures, all broadly showing similar things:-
Dubai’s population in 2013 was around 2.11 million.
Around 340,000 are south Asians living in labour camps, and probably don’t drive.
Around 260,000 Emiratis.
Approximately 740,000; 340,000; 190,000 Indians, Pakistanis, Bangladeshis respectively.
Filipinos make up some 61,000 of the population and “Britishers [sic]” a mere 11,000.
The “Others” comprise the remaining 168,000.
A widespread measure of risk is “per 100,000 population.” It’s generally perceived by the luminaries who keeps such scores that low scores represent better, or at least safer, drivers. Numbers of road deaths in the range of 5/100,000 population tend to be scored in the over-regulated and over-policed northern Europe, whereas across equatorial Africa scores of around 20 are more common. The worst one on the Goat’s list is Eritrea at 48.4/100,000.
Smeed’s Law (1949, based originally on 1938 data) relates traffic death rate to numbers of vehicles and population, and predicts around 24 for UK, which is almost the same result as Dubai in 2013. As the current figure of less than 4/100,000 it is possible to infer that British roads are safer than they were in the 1930s. Given seat belts, drink-drive legislation, decent brakes, headlights that actually work, tyres that grip, and frankly better roads, this isn’t rocket surgery, is it?
Anyhoo, by the measure of accidents per 100,000 population we learn that:-
- The best drivers in Dubai are Filipinos, scoring 30;
- Indians and Bangladeshis are next, with scores in the 40 to 45 range;
- Emiratis and Pakistanis score a less impressive 110-115;
- The British manage an atrocious 182;
- The very worst drivers of all are these mysterious Others with a horrifyingly spectacular score of 270.
- The best drivers in Dubai are Indians, Filipinos and Bangladeshis, scoring 2.6 to 3.8;
- Emiratis and Pakistanis score a less impressive 9.5 to 12.0;
- These mysterious Others have a horrifyingly spectacular score of 34.5...
The elephant in the room is of course the absolute magnitude of the figures. Scoring 36 in Dubai when at home you score lower than four is rather like picking up the cleaner end of a turd. Unlike equatorial Africa, the Dubai fleet consists largely of new, modern vehicles with the latest in safety technology. Vehicles are subject to annual roadworthiness tests. Roads are of exceptionally high quality with road budgets far exceeding those of comparable UK highway authorities, and policing – especially through the use of red-light and speed enforcement cameras – is widespread.
The Goat will leave it to commentators and the Letters page of 7DAYS to come up with how this little corner of the world should be put to rights.