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 and its all about being with the ones close to you, which creates a lot of traffic! This festive time also brings very unique challenges for all traffic participants.
Based on our 2017 Ramadan survey (www.RoadSafetyUAE.com/statistics) on accident patters, here are the most important findings:
- Older motorists (40+) and male motorists are especially vulnerable
- Peak accident timings are between 9am-10am and 11am-2pm
- Wednesdays are the most dangerous days, Sundays the least dangerous
The Ramadan specific lifestyle has physical effects on our body – especially this year, when Ramadan will coincide with the hot summer weather. Fasting can result in dehydration and low blood sugar, which in turn can affect our attentiveness, concentration, vision and reaction. In addition to fasting, the often unusual and irregular meal timings and sleep patterns can cause fatigue, exhaustion, impatience and distraction.
Just before sunset is also 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 motorists might use this as an excuse to misbehave on the roads. Hence, all traffic participants (motorists, pedestrians, motorcycle riders, bicyclists, etc.) must be extra careful in this time, too!
How to do it right :
- Be aware of your own potential limitations!
- Watch out for other traffic participants potentially under the same effects.
- Expect the unexpected – we all MUST drive defensively!
- Plan for possible delays and add a time buffer!
- Always wear your seat belt – Ramadan is a good time to finally start this habit!
- When you are male and 40+, be extra careful!
- Watch out in the morning rush-hours!
- Motorists should try to anticipate sudden movements by others, including cyclists, motorcyclists and pedestrians.
- Approach signals carefully at Iftar time – even when the light is green – and don’t jump red lights!
- Keep a sufficient distance between their vehicle and don’t tailgate.
- Plan your schedules properly and leave early to avoid the need of rushing and speeding.
- You can run a little bit late – people will understand.
- Around sunset prior to Iftar, be very cautious!
- Stay off the roads at sundown, if you can avoid it.
- Use your lights during dusk, before Iftar
- Avoid fatigue and get enough sleep.
- Pull over immediately when you becoming drowsy.
- Use public transport or taxis.
How to do it right – as non-fasting driver, pedestrian, motorcyclist, passenger, etc.
- Be considerate and generous to other traffic participants who might fast!
- ALL traffic participants – fasting and non-fasting – must be extra careful during Ramadan!
- Especially, ‘weaker’ traffic participants (pedestrian, cyclist or motorcyclist) must watch out for potentially irrational behavior of other traffic participants!
- Apply the same defensive driving approach like fasting traffic participants.
- Be very careful in the peak accident morning rush hours!
- Try to stay off the roads just before Iftar!
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