Motorists in Dubai have been urged not to drive in Ramadan if they are feeling tired.
The emirate’s Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) reminded residents to be aware of fatigue caused by changes to normal eating and sleeping habits.
An educational campaign was launched to highlight the dangers, which are particularly prevalent during rush hour.
“The RTA will send awareness messages via social media channels, [web]sites, and messaging signs to raise the public awareness about safe driving during Ramadan,” said Maitha bin Adai, chief executive of the RTA's Traffic and Roads Agency.
“The variation of sleeping and duty timings during Ramadan tends to impact the attention of fasting motorists.
"This is visible at the time of driving from the workplace to home where the driver’s concentration drops to the minimum.
“This impacts the ability of the driver to take the proper decision at the right time. Therefore, extra caution and attention are required when driving from the workplace back home to avoid accidents.”
Ms bin Adai also asked motorists to keep cool during their commute.
“Most traffic accidents that take place in Ramadan are attributed to the lack of leaving a safe distance between vehicles,” she said.
“Drivers are therefore encouraged to leave enough distance between vehicles.
"They are advised to switch on air-conditioners while driving as the hot conditions [can] give rise to the feelings of exhaustion.
“The driver has to maintain an upright position while seated and keep the head raised while driving,” she said.
How to stay alert on the road during Ramadan
- Avoid driving after eating a heavy meal, especially after fasting
- Be patient and leave a safe distance from the vehicle in front
- Expect congestion and allow extra time to reach your destination
- Avoid getting involved in disputes with other motorists who are flouting traffic rules and stay in your lane
- Use public transport if you feel you will become tense while driving
- If you've parked and you're waiting for a passenger, make sure you stay awake. According to the RTA, sleeping inside a vehicle – with the windows closed and air-conditioning on – can cause suffocation and death in less than an hour due to air being recycled and possible exhaust fumes entering the vehicle.