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Older drivers more prone to road accidents during Ramadan: Study

Filed on May 15, 2018 | Last updated on May 16, 2018 at 07.10 pm

(alamy.com)

Most accidents take place on Tuesdays during Ramadan.

The holy month of Ramadan is just around the corner and road safety experts have warned of challenges on the road for motorists that usually happen during the festive month.

According to a study conducted by RoadSafetyUAE, based on 1,651 reported accidents/claims in the UAE provided by i-Insured during Ramadan last year, motorists aged 40 and above are more involved in traffic accidents than younger motorists. They are also slightly more inclined to get involved in road mishaps than those who belong to the age group 30-35 years old. Moreover, males are significantly more accident prone than females. 

The majority of accidents happen in the late-morning office rush hours, as many start their working days late. The accidents are very evenly spread over the four weeks of Ramadan but the most dangerous days are Tuesdays and least dangerous are Saturdays.

In terms of nationalities who made accident claims last year, Indians topped the list at 47 per cent, followed by Emiratis at 14 per cent and Pakistanis at 12 per cent. Egyptians and Jordanians recorded 6 and 3 per cent respectively while a composite number of nationalities recorded a total of 18 per cent.

"It is of utmost importance to know how the Ramadan lifestyle can affect our own behavior, as well as the behavior of other traffic participants," said Thomas Edelmann, founder and managing director of RoadSafetyUAE.

"Road traffic accidents, injuries and fatalities peak in the holy month of Ramadan. It is sad to witness hundreds of accidents and dozens of fatalities every year. Ramadan is a very special time and it's all about being with the ones close to you, which creates a lot of traffic. But the festive time also brings very unique challenges for motorists and pedestrians," he underlined.

Frederik Bisbjerg, executive vice president for retail at i-Insured, noted: "Based on the analyzed data, we want to flag these three main findings: Older motorists (40+) must take extra caution; motorists should mind the morning rush-hours, and male motorists need to pay extra attention towards their driving attitude."

According to experts, the so-called Ramadan specific lifestyle has physical effects on our body, especially when coinciding with the hot summer season like this year. "Fasting can result in dehydration and low blood sugar, which in turn can limit our attentiveness, concentration, vision, and reaction. In addition to fasting, the unusual eating and sleeping patterns can cause fatigue, exhaustion, impatience, and distraction (on the road)."

"Motorists must realise that even if they arrive late for a Ramadan event, people will understand. Good time management is crucial and motorists are urged to leave early enough and allow for a time buffer to reach their destination on time. We need to display a caring attitude for ourselves and for others in this very special period," Edelmann concluded.

angel@khaleejtimes.com

Tips for fasting motorists:

1. Be aware of your own potential limitations

2. Expect the unexpected - we all must drive defensively

3. Plan for possible delays and add a time buffer

4. Always wear your seat belt - Ramadan is a good time to finally start this habit

5. When you are male and 40 years old and above, be extra careful on the road

6. Motorists should try to anticipate sudden movements by others, including cyclists, motorcyclists and pedestrians.

7. Approach signals carefully at Iftar time - even when the light is green - and don't jump red lights

8. Keep a sufficient distance between vehicles and don't tailgate

9. You can run a little bit late - people will understand

10. Around sunset prior to Iftar, be very cautious

11. Stay off the roads at sundown, if you can avoid it

12. Use your lights during dusk, before Iftar

13. Avoid fatigue and get enough sleep.

14. Pull over immediately when you feel sleepy/ drowsy.

15. Use public transport or taxis.

Tips for non-fasting motorists and pedestrians

1. Be considerate and generous to other traffic participants who are  fasting

2. All traffic participants - fasting and non-fasting - must be extra careful during Ramadan

3. Especially, 'weaker' traffic participants (pedestrians, cyclists or motorcyclists) must watch out for potentially irrational behaviour of other traffic participants

4. Apply the same defensive driving approach like fasting traffic participants.

5. Be very careful in the peak accident morning rush hours

6. Try to stay off the roads just before Iftar

angel@khaleejtimes.com

Angel Tesorero


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