Take it easy, weall want to get home safely

UAE mo­torists send Ra­madan mes­sage to reck­less driv­ers

7 Days in Dubai - - FRONT PAGE - By Shoshana Ke­dem and Nawal Al Ramahi 7DAYSUAE

Driv­ers across the UAE must think twice be­fore rush­ing home to break their fast dur­ing Ra­madan.

That was the mes­sage from mo­torists who want to avoid a re­peat of pre­vi­ous years on the roads dur­ing the Holy Month.

Last year, Dubai Po­lice recorded 201 se­ri­ous ac­ci­dents, which re­sulted in 10 deaths and 147 in­juries, dur­ing Ra­madan.

The first day of Ra­madan brought nu­mer­ous mi­nor crashes on the roads yes­ter­day and mo­torists have called for ev­ery­one to show com­pas­sion and good­will when be­hind the wheel.

Mo­hammed Ab­del Wahid, 31, told 7DAYS: “I un­der­stand that ev­ery­one has a busy sched­ule but sud­den swerv­ing and lane cut­ting will not get you to your des­ti­na­tion faster.”

The Holy Month of Ra­madan is filled with end­less bless­ings and it is the time for ev­ery­one to ex­change good­will. Though Ra­madan can of­fer a num­ber of health ben­e­fits, we know that fast­ing has phys­i­o­log­i­cal and psy­cho­log­i­cal ef­fects.

Fast­ing can cause tem­po­rary low blood sugar, which will dras­ti­cally af­fect the at­ten­tive­ness, con­cen­tra­tion, vi­sion and ac­tion/reaction. Es­pe­cially this Ra­madan be­cause it is in the peak time of sum­mer and that can eas­ily lead to de­hy­dra­tion and fa­tigue.

Fewer hours of sleep, ir­reg­u­lar meal times and evenings full of prayers, so­cial gath­er­ings and events will af­fect our abil­ity to be alert and fo­cused while driv­ing.

These things are putting more stress on our body, caus­ing fa­tigue and di­min­ish­ing the abil­ity to per­form the driv­ing task.

Once fa­tigue sets in while driv­ing, there is lit­tle you can do ex­cept STOP the ve­hi­cle in a safe place, far from the road, as soon as pos­si­ble.

To en­sure safe driv­ing, safety of our pas­sen­gers and other road users dur­ing Ra­madan, we need to be aware of our own fa­tigue as well as other driv­ers’.

So here are some tips to help… PLAN THE DRIVE AHEAD

Plan well - fac­tor in sleep­ing time, con­sis­tent meal times and reg­u­lar ex­er­cise rou­tine.

If you are feel­ing sleepy be­fore driv­ing, take a nap for no more than 15 min­utes. Buckle up your­self and in­sist all your pas­sen­gers wear seat­belts at all times. If you feel sleepy while driv­ing, pull over im­me­di­ately and take a short nap.

Af­ter the nap, get out of the car and walk about to help im­prove your blood cir­cu­la­tion.

Al­ways main­tain suf­fi­cient safe dis­tance with the ve­hi­cle in front.

Al­ways ad­just your speed to the road and weather con­di­tions.

Be more cour­te­ous and pa­tient with other road users.

Give your­self plenty of ex­tra time to ar­rive at your des­ti­na­tion on time. TAKE FOOD WITH YOU

If you are fast­ing and not sure to reach your des­ti­na­tion for if­tar, it’s bet­ter to take the break­fast meal with you and have it af­ter stop­ping the car in a safe place rather than rush­ing. Avoid driv­ing for long hours. Avoid driv­ing af­ter heavy meals, es­pe­cially af­ter break­ing fast. If at all pos­si­ble, avoid the roads from about one hour be­fore sun­set. At this time, peo­ple will of­ten be driv­ing at high speeds to make it home in time to break the fast. All usual driv­ing rules tend to go out the win­dow at this point. If some­one looks like he is in a ‘road rage’ and shout­ing at you, no mat­ter how dif­fi­cult it is, let it go, and keep calm. Ex­pect the un­ex­pected at all times! BE AWARE OF FA­TIGUE

The best time to drive dur­ing Ra­madan is just af­ter if­tar has started be­cause the roads will be free of traf­fic.

Be aware of your own fa­tigue, as well as your phys­i­cal and men­tal con­di­tion. This will en­sure your safety and the safety of your pas­sen­gers

Drive de­fen­sively. Ob­serve all traf­fic signs, rules and reg­u­la­tions. Most im­por­tantly, watch out for the other driv­ers on the road. Use your de­fen­sive driv­ing tech­niques to avoid dan­ger­ous sit­u­a­tions and so, you can al­ways an­tic­i­pate other driv­ers’ ac­tions.

If you are tired, use taxis, buses or even join a car pool.

Good and kind deeds to­wards oth­ers, and good habits on the roads dur­ing the month of Ra­madan should be­come per­ma­nent habits for the fu­ture.

SPEAK­ING OUT: From top left - Ada­tia Shah, Ha­mad Ali, Mo­hammed Ab­del Wahid, Massed Al Shahi, Shabaz Nawaz and Ashesh Man­ish

TIRED: It’s no sur­prise that you will feel more tired when you are fast­ing dur­ing Ra­madan

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