Article updated 5-April-2021
During 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 it’s 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 Ramadan accident surveys over the years, based on more than 6,000 auto-insurance claims data, here are the most important findings related to accidents during Ramadan:
- Older motorists (40+) and male motorists are especially vulnerable
- Peak accident timings are around pre-Iftar (2-5pm) and the morning rush hour from 8-10am
- Tuesdays are the most dangerous days, Sundays the least dangerous
The Ramadan specific lifestyle has physical effects on our body – especially if Ramadan coincides with the hot 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, which is reflected in early morning accident peaks.
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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In Ramadan, people would be very tired of fasting, so i have a question how are you going to solve this problem? not only in Ramadan, there is also many accidents here in al ain not only in Ramadan, but also in normal days, and i also noticed that some police, only some don’t say anything to Emarati people if they did something wrong but if foreign people did something wrong, they do something about so please stop it thank you.
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Accidents are not more frequent in Ramadan only, as a fellow commentator mentioned, accidents are frequent on a daily basis during rush hours all year long.
Your platform, and RTA, are contradicting yourselves, since work hours have changed in Ramadan, 95% of fasting muslims are back from work by 3 PM, which makes all your claims irrelevant. Rush hour, morning and evening, and bad drivers (especially from certain countries where poor driving skills and manners are legendary), are responsible for the increase in accidents. So let’s stop blaming all on Ramadan and try to find a solution instead.
You are spot on! Indeed, accidents are frequent on a daily basis and yes, we need to find solutions! Every road accident is one too many! All stakeholders like road users, governmental entities, the private sector, the media and organizations like RoadSafetyUAE are invited to improving the situation by contributing in their respective areas. Our mission is to raise awareness for our cause in holistic manner. We do so by elevating the discussion from anecdotal evidence and opinions to data based communication and initiatives. The support the cause of road safety gets from UAE’s society is amazing and we will see further improvements!
Drive safely and kind regards,
Your RoadSafetyUAE Team