Crash driver in seat­belt warn­ing

Crash sur­vivor’s seat­belt mes­sage to mo­torists

7 Days in Dubai - - FRONT PAGE - By Rory Reynolds @Ro­ryReynolds

One minute Si­raj Khan was driv­ing along Garhoud Bridge to col­lect a friend from Dubai In­ter­na­tional Air­port.

The next he was up­side down in his car as it skid­ded down the car­riage­way on its roof. The re­mark­able thing is Khan, 38, es­caped with­out in­jury - be­cause he was wear­ing a seat­belt.

He said the crash was caused when two cars col­lided on the bridge, sparked by one swerv­ing in front of the other.

De­spite the care­less­ness of at least one of those driv­ers, he said, all three sur­vived, as they were all buck­led up.

“I know I would have been thrown out of the win­dow, I know I would have died,” he told 7DAYS.

Khan con­tacted 7DAYS af­ter read­ing about a cam­paign by out­sourc­ing firm Serco Mid­dle East, which has launched its own road safety drive af­ter see­ing a num­ber of em­ploy­ees in­jured in ac­ci­dents in the past year, in­clud­ing some who were wear­ing their belts.

The Pak­istani, who was born in the UAE and works in op­er­a­tions for a shipping firm, said the out­come of his crash, in De­cem­ber 2010, could have been very dif­fer­ent.

He said: “I saw the car com­ing towards me and I didn’t have time to change lane. The next mo­ment I found my­self hang­ing up­side down from my seat­belt.

“I un­belted my­self and dropped down and man­aged to get out the car.

“The other driv­ers were safe too, they had their belts on. The am­bu­lance peo­ple said I should go to hospi­tal but I was fine. I went straight back to work, got one of the com­pany cars, and car­ried on for the day.”

He continued: “I drive a lot, 400-500km per day, and I’ve been on the road since 2004, so I see a lot of ac­ci­dents. “I’ve al­ways worn my seat­belt - al­ways. “If I see a friend not wear­ing their seat­belt, I tell them what hap­pened to me, what nearly hap­pened.

“When I learned to drive, my in­struc­tor told me ‘al­ways check your mir­ror ev­ery 30 sec­onds’, and I’ve al­ways done that, to this day.

“It means you know what is hap­pen­ing be­hind you, you can re­act, and you can stay safe.”

Dubai Po­lice have so far in 2016 handed out 19,200 tick­ets to driv­ers who were not buck­led up.

7DAYS will con­tinue to high­light the im­por­tance of seat­belt use.

Did a seat­belt save you from in­jury in a crash? Email

CLOSE CALL: Khan walked away from this crash on Garhoud Bridge as he was buck­led up

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