Qatar’s motorists have lauded the government’s efforts to improve road infrastructure in the country.
At the same time, a majority of them feel the daily commute to work has become longer and the roads more dangerous over the past six months, according to the QIC Insured Road Safety Monitor.
The survey, commissioned by QIC Insured, is the first of a planned ongoing study to quantify perception trends of motorists about infrastructure, overall driving enjoyment, commute time, driving behaviour (linked to the main causes of accidents, injuries and fatalities), and fines and accidents.
The perception trends are measured for the last six months. This was conducted by YouGov in February, based on an idea by and in partnership with RoadSafetyUAE, which did the first cycle back in April 2015 for the UAE.
The monitor for Qatar is based on the views of a representative sample from among the country’s residents.
The respondents praised the efforts of government institutions in Qatar to build new roads, bridges and access roads, with 61% reporting that road infrastructure had improved over the last six months.
However, 76% reported a longer drive to work, while only 21% felt the daily commute had become faster. The findings also show that 56% of the respondents enjoy driving on Qatar’s roads less than six months ago, compared to 30% who enjoy it more now.
While the government works hard to improve road facilities, the driving culture is seen as a big challenge, with 62% of the survey participants believing that Qatar’s roads have become more dangerous in the last six months. Only 22% feel they have become less dangerous.
Besides, 76% of the respondents said they had seen more speeding vehicles on the roads in the last six months, 76% perceived more tailgating, 86% more distracted driving (texting or talking on the phone, reading the newspaper, etc) and 77% more abrupt lane changing.
Salem al-Mannai, deputy group president and CEO of QIC (Mena region), said: “We are proud to introduce this unique long-term perception study in Qatar, as it provides hard facts to us and all stakeholders concerned to work in the right direction with regard to making the roads safer. Further, it supports the efforts of QIC Insured to actively support the creation of safer roads.”
Frederik Bisbjerg, executive vice-president (Mena retail), Qatar Insurance Company, noted: “Safer roads are a benefit for all, families, businesses, government and insurers, and we as the leading insurer have a real opportunity to play a part in affecting how people drive.”
Detailed findings of the survey can be viewed at Roadsafety.qic-insured.com
Survey respondents reported that road infrastructure has improved. (Inset) Salem al-Mannai