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Driving during Ramadan Requires Caution
By Engr. Iqbal A. Khan

Ramadan is a very special time of year.  It is a time for exchanging good will.  People are frequently on the road enrooted to the homes of family and friends.  This time also brings special challenges for the drivers.
Less hours of sleep combined with evenings full of social obligations, and erratic meal times, affects a driver’s ability to remain alert and focused.  Fatigue dulls a driver’s concentration and slows his reaction time. That means extreme caution is required during Ramadan.

To ensure your safety and the safety of your passengers during Ramadan, beware of your own fatigue, watch out for other fatigued drivers, and follow these basic precautions:

  1. Get plenty of rest. Lack of sleep, accumulated over several days, will affect your ability to concentrate, focus, and make decision. This ultimately affects your ability to react safely to a dangerous driving situation. Plan your schedule in Ramadan to sleep well, exercise regularly, and eat your meals at a consistent time.
  2. Buckle up. Always wear your seat belt and insist that all your passengers wear theirs as well. Secure all children in the back seat in size-appropriate safety seats before you drive.
  3. See and be seen. Before you head out on the road at night, ensure that your headlights, taillights, and signal lights are clean and working properly. Clean your windows to remove road film and dust that could impair your ability to see clearly.
  4. Drive defensively. Observe all traffic signs, rules, and regulations. Most importantly, watch out for the other drivers on the road. Use your defensive driving techniques to avoid dangerous situations.  Always try to anticipate the other drivers’ actions.
  5. Slow down. Do not speed; obey the posted speed limits. Give yourself plenty of extra time to arrive at your destination on schedule. Always adjust your speed to the road and weather conditions.
  6. Make use of alternate transportation services. If you are feeling fatigued, use taxis or buses or even join a car pool. These other transportation services are readily available and easily accessible. Make use of them as often as you can.

Always remain alert and concentrate on your defensive driving techniques throughout the month of Ramadan.

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