13 tips to help drivers stay safe on the roads during Ramadan

Accidents rise in the run-up to iftar, according to research from Road Safety UAE

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A road safety expert urged motorists to take extra care behind the wheel during Ramadan.

Thomas Edelmann, the founder of Road Safety UAE, issued a 13-step guide to steering clear of accidents during the holy month.

Using data compiled from more than 6,000 insurance claims during previous Ramadans, the campaign group found the peak time for accidents is between 2pm and 5pm, in the run-up to iftar, as drivers rush home to break their fast, and in the busy morning period between 8am and 10am.

"Just before sunset is a particularly problematic time, in part because people are at their most hungry, and also because motorists are rushing towards their iftar appointments," said Mr Edelmann.

A combination of fasting and high temperatures can result in dehydration and low blood sugar which has an adverse effect on concentration, vision and reaction, according to Mr Edelmann.

A rise in injuries and fatalities resulting from road accidents is traditionally reported during Ramadan.

Police warn the public to extra vigilant during the period, by ensuring they take their time and do not tailgate.

Motorists aged over 40 and male motorists are the most likely to be involved in a crash, the Road Safety UAE study concluded.

So how can you avoid getting involved in an accident this Ramadan? Here are 10 salient pieces of advice from the team at Road Safety UAE.

13 road safety tips for Ramadan

  1. Be aware of your own potential limitations
  2. Watch out for other traffic participants potentially suffering from hunger or fatigue
  3. Expect the unexpected – we must all drive defensively
  4. Plan for possible delays and add a time buffer
  5. Always wear your seat belt
  6. If you are male and over 40, be extra careful
  7. Approach signals carefully at iftar time even when the light is green, and do not jump red lights
  8. Keep a sufficient distance between their vehicle and do not tailgate
  9. Plan your schedules properly and leave early to avoid the need for rushing or speeding
  10. Around sunset prior to iftar, be very cautious or stay off the roads at sundown if you can avoid it
  11. Use your lights during dusk, before iftar
  12. Avoid fatigue and get enough sleep, and pull over immediately if you becoming drowsy
  13. If you are a 'weaker' user of the roads (pedestrian, cyclist or motorcyclist), watch out for potentially irrational behaviour of other traffic participants

In pictures: Ramadan 2021 around the Gulf