Ramadan driving: 5 road safety tips

Road traffic accidents, injuries and fatalities peak in the holy month of Ramadan.

It is sad to witness hundreds of accidents and dozens of fatalities every year.

Ramadan is a very special time, but the festive period poses unique traffic challenges owing to a shift in regular timings as well as the fasting lifestyle.

The Ramadan specific lifestyle has physical effects on our body – especially when coinciding with the hot summer season like this year.

Fasting can result in dehydration and low blood sugar, which in turn can limit our attentiveness, concentration, vision and reaction. In addition to fasting, the unusual eating and sleeping patterns can cause fatigue, exhaustion, impatience and distraction, say experts.

Just before sunset is a problematic time to be on the roads, because motorists tend to rush towards their iftar appointments.

This pre-iftar rush hour is a mix of psychological urges and physical needs, and some motorists use this as an excuse to misbehave on the roads. Hence, all traffic participants (motorists, pedestrians, motorcycle riders, bicyclists, etc.) must be extra careful during this time slot.

Here are top-5 most important tips, according to RoadSafetyUAE

•Be aware of your own limitations.
•Watch out for other traffic participants potentially under the same limitations.
•Expect the unexpected – we all MUST drive defensively.
•Plan your schedule properly and leave early to avoid the need of rushing and speeding.
•Always wear your seat belt – Ramadan is a good time to start this habit.

"Motorists must realise that even if they arrive late for a Ramadan event, people will understand. Time management is vital and motorists are urged to leave early enough and to allow for a puffer time to reach their destination on time," says Thomas Edelmann, founder of RoadSafetyUAE .

"We need a heightened awareness as well as a caring attitude for others in this special period of the year," he says.

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