Ramadan in UAE: Most dangerous hours on roads revealed; experts share safety tips

Fasting can result in dehydration, low blood sugar and exhaustion, which in turn can affect the motorist’s attentiveness, concentration, vision and reaction


Angel Tesorero

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Published: Wed 22 Mar 2023, 2:02 PM

Last updated: Wed 22 Mar 2023, 10:38 PM

With the start of Ramadan, road safety and health experts are calling on motorists and pedestrians to be more cautious while on the road and to be more attentive to traffic rules.

According to road safety experts, traffic accidents usually increase during Ramadan. “This is because fasting can result in dehydration, low blood sugar and exhaustion, which in turn can affect the motorist’s attentiveness, concentration, vision and reaction,” Thomas Edelmann, founder and managing director of RoadSafetyUAE, told Khaleej Times on Wednesday.

“In addition to fasting, the often unusual and irregular meal timings and sleep patterns can cause fatigue, exhaustion, impatience and distraction, which is reflected in early morning accident peaks,” he added.

Accident prone hours

According to RoadSafety UAE’s Ramadan accident surveys over the years, based on more than 6,000 auto-insurance claims data, older motorists (those 40 years and above) and male motorists are especially vulnerable to accidents.

Peak accident timings are around pre-Iftar (between 2pm and 5pm) and the morning rush hour from 8am to 10am

Tuesdays are the most dangerous days for motorists, while Sundays are relatively safer.

Edelamnn added: “Just before sunset is also a problematic time to be on the road, because motorists tend to rush towards their Iftar appointments. This pre-Iftar rush hour is a mix of psychological urges and physical needs and motorists might use this as an excuse to misbehave on the roads.”

“Hence, all traffic participants (motorists, pedestrians, motorcycle riders, bicyclists, etc.) must be extra careful in this time too,” he underlined.

Dr Nasrullah Jakhrani, internal medicine specialist at Aster Clinic Bur Dubai, advised: “Drivers who fast should practice caution while driving and must follow traffic rules to ensure their safety and the safety of others.

"They should consult their doctors before fasting if they have diabetes mellitus, hypertension, and any other medical illnesses. They should sleep properly, take their medicines on time, and drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration.”

Health officials, meanwhile, recommend to have plenty of sleep to avoid fatigue and for drivers to get off the road immediately if they feel drowsy.

Road safety tips

  • Expect the unexpected – drive defensively always
  • Always wear your seat belt
  • Keep a sufficient distance between their vehicle and do not tailgate
  • Approach signals carefully at Iftar time, even when the light is green; do not jump red lights
  • Around sunset, prior to iftar, be very cautious or stay off the roads at sundown if you can avoid it
  • Plan your schedules properly and leave early to avoid the need for rushing or speeding
  • Be aware of your own potential limitations
  • Avoid fatigue and get enough sleep, and pull over immediately if you becoming drowsy
  • Use public transport or taxis.

Reminders to non-fasting drivers, pedestrians, motorcyclists, etc.

  • Be considerate and generous to other people who are fasting
  • If you are a 'weaker' user of the roads (i.e., pedestrian, cyclist or motorcyclist), watch out for potentially irrational behaviour of some motorists
  • Be extra careful during peak accident morning rush hours
  • Try to stay off the roads just before Iftar


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