Crash driver in seatbelt warning
Crash survivor’s seatbelt message to motorists
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