This Ramadan, drivers are being urged not to tailgate, to keep their eyes on the road, and to switch on the AC while driving.
Just recently, the Dubai Roads and Transport Authority launched a campaign to remind drivers about the risks of driving when exhausted and tailgating.
In a statement, Maitha bin Udai, chief executive of Traffic & Roads Agency of the RTA, said that poor concentration, tiredness and inattentiveness increase the chances of causing crashes. She added that the noble values radiated by Ramadan should have a positive bearing of attitudes of persons highlighted by the conformity with the traffic rules and refraining from the encroachment on the road users.
In 2016, Dubai Police received 2,419 traffic reports and recorded a total of 250 incidents during five hours on the first day of the holy month.
According to RTA, most traffic accidents that occur during Ramadan are caused by motorists not leaving a safe distance between vehicles.
Robert Hodges, a UK-based driver education and road safety expert, said: “By being close to you, the driver behind you is directly putting your safety at risk.” He added that the lack of space between vehicles eliminates the ‘safety zone’ and the risk of rear-impact is significantly increased, noting that the fact drivers are tailgated also distracts, and might worry them and could cause them to make poor or hasty decisions.
Udai also urged motorists to leave adequate distance between vehicles and to ensure that their AC is working as heat can cause exhaustion and fatigue.
In accordance with the records of the Dubai Police, traffic mishaps caused by tailgating killed 14 and severely injured 151 in the first quarter of the year.
Udai continued that the difference between the working and sleeping times during Ramadan affects the concentration of fasting drivers, which is evidently reflected when employees drive home. She emphasized that all drivers need to take sufficient rest before driving, and to rest if they feel sleepy or exhausted.
“Once drivers hear the call for maghreb prayers while driving, they have to stop to take a light iftar, even if a glass of water and few dates, before resuming the journey”, she concluded.
The RTA will provide motorists with safety tips through social media channels and distribute awareness leaflets.
The authority has partnered with Emirates Driving Institute (EDI) to unveil an awareness campaign aimed at trainees and drivers.
Lectures will be available in English, Arabic and Urdu and flyers on safe driving will also be provided. Meanwhile, free iftar meals will be given away to drivers in an attempt to enhance safety on the roads during the holy month.