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Tips for safe driving during Ramadan

By Kyle Linsay
Wednesday, June 17, 2015 - 17:03

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This week’s motoring tips from the IAM’s head of driving standards Peter Rodger are looking at how Muslim drivers can ensure they stay safe on the road during the Holy month of Ramadan, beginning this year on 18 June.
Ramadan is a time when most followers of Islam will undertake a daily fast for approximately 30 days, however, children, expectant mothers and those with certain illnesses will not be expected to fast. For those drivers that are fasting, we encourage you to read our tips to ensure both you and your passengers are as safe as possible.

  • Try to maintain a daily schedule; eat your meals and stay hydrated when you are supposed to, exercise regularly and sleep well – disrupting your daily routine too much can affect your behaviour behind the wheel.
  • If you can, avoid setting out early in the morning or late in the evening as you’re less likely to be naturally alert. The same applies for when you have just eaten a heavy meal; you will only end up feeling lethargic.
  • Avoid driving if you are feeling tired or sleepy as this greatly increases the risk of a sleep related crash. If you have no choice but to travel and the destination is within a short distance, take a power nap beforehand to help relieve some fatigue.
  • If at any point you are feeling tired or sleepy when you are driving, ensure that you stop in a safe and legal place where you can park your vehicle and take rest. Take a short nap and once you have woken up get out of the car and walk about to help improve your circulation. Remember, if you are travelling on the motorway you must not stop on the hard shoulder at any point unless your car has broken down.
  • Be extra alert when driving just before sunset or on the way to have Iftar refreshments which break the day’s fast – at this time of the day your blood sugar levels will be at their lowest so take it easy.
  • Do not speed or drive erratically in the hope of arriving home at sunset for Iftar – it’s better to drive to steady and safely than to be sorry.
  • Sharing the drive when possible is always a good idea especially on long journeys – the chances of you feeling tired will be significantly reduced.
  • Your concentration will also be impacted if you are feeling tired or dehydrated – consider using public transport.

Peter said: “If your eating and drinking patterns are altered for any period of time your abilities and reactions behind the wheel will be affected. This applies equally at Ramadan. Do allow for this if you’re fasting. Look after yourself and you can continue your journeys as normal.” 

Thank you to the Emirates Driving Institute for their help with creating these tips.

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