High Car Accident rate
With the UAE’s high incidence of car accidents and sadly 600 people killed in car accidents each year (24 killed per 100,000 people), there’s a good chance we may find ourselves one day at the scene of an accident.
The UAE police must be notified not only if there is an accident involving a couple of vehicles but even if your car receives a dent while it is parked at the supermarket.
A page on Dubai FAQs to do with driving in Dubai is helpful and almost completely transferable to the car accident procedures to follow. I am indebted to those who have contributed to that forum in making this ‘What To Do List’.
Please note: This is not an official statement and some of the things listed are at variance with other advice.
+ Make sure you have your phone to contact the police (999 is the emergency number in the UAE) and wait for them to arrive. They might ask if the cars are obstructing traffic or endangering other cars, in which case they might tell you to move the cars if it is possible. If people are injured and need help, ensure that the police have sent out a call to the ambulance service.
+ Make sure you have a camera with you for if the cars need to be moved it is useful to have a record of where the cars were at the time of the accident.
+ Make sure you have some water and refreshments for if it is a minor accident you could be waiting for a long time.
+ Make sure you have your car registration card with you and driver’s license. Sometimes Fujairah residents involved in car accidents have also had to submit their passports until everything is sorted out.
+ Normally the police listen to the different drivers and passengers involved in an accident and if it is straightforward the police will make a judgement and write an accident report on the spot.
+ If the accident is major, particularly if there are people severely injured or killed or if the witness accounts are in dispute, it is likely that those involved will have to go to the police station and they may be detained until everything is resolved.
+ Make sure you have the mobile phone number of your employer and preferably someone with wasta who can speak Arabic. Often a helpful CEO or Director will give to new employees at their ‘welcome to Fujairah’ interview their mobile phone number, ‘just in case you end up in jail’. Most Fujairah Police will know some English but non-Arabic speaking people involved in accident disputes have found that a lack of Arabic is a major disadvantage.
+ To get a copy of the accident report (different coloured paper depending on who is at fault and who is innocent) is essential for this has to be submitted to your insurance company and to the mechanics and panel beaters who will fix your car.
+ If you hit a lamp post and do even minor damage to your car or if you discover that your car has been dented while it was parked, you need to call the police and wait there until they come or they may ask you to drive to the accident section of the police station which is at the back of the Fujairah police station where you register your car.
+ Receiving an accident report (no matter how small the dent is) from the police is necessary both for insurance claims and for getting your car repaired. You might think that the damage is so minor that you won’t bother getting the dent fixed but you may well fail to get your car re-registered until the damage has been repaired. Car workshops face stiff penalties if they repair cars damaged in an accident without receiving the police accident report.
+ The police and medical personnel will advise on procedures when there are accident injuries or a worse scenario.
+ If someone dies in an accident and you're deemed to be responsible, you'll likely have to pay diya or blood money (Dh200,000) to the family of the victim as a form of compensation. Your insurance company should cover this cost which is one of the reasons why getting a comprehensive car insurance in the UAE is essential. If you are involved in the accident and it is determined that you have been under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs this is even more serious and the fine print in your insurance policy might well say that it will not cover you for diya under these circumstances.
+ If you see or approach the scene of an accident, you could stop and offer to act as a witness but there are differences one needs to consider. Depending on your wasta levels and those of the participants in the accident, it is possible that you become named as one of the causes of the accident.
+ If there are injured people and you decide to assist, be aware that if one of the victims dies and you were the last person to touch them, you will probably be held (in jail) responsible for their death, at least until it is clear that you did not cause the death, which may take days.
Phone Numbers for Reporting Accidents given by this official link
Abu Dhabi: 02 4196666 ext 208 or 259
Dubai: 04 2692222
Sharjah: 06 5381111 / 5512222
Ajman: 06 7424999
Umm al-Qaiwain: 06 7666666
Ra’s al-Khaimah: 07 2351111
Fujairah: 09 2229884
Al Ain: 03 7073555
This article is also posted on the Fujairah in Focus Facebook Page upon which many more articles and links are posted than on this site.