In the first 15 days of Ramadan, the Command & Control Centre of Police recorded 7273 traffic accidents, of which 26 were of serious nature. With the peak of summer coinciding with the month of Ramadan, responsible automotive and tyre companies have been leading the campaign for safety with free check ups, and relevant safety advice.
Michelin tyres, along with RTA and Dubai Municipality, carried out free tyre safety checks for 185 trucks and half lorries at the Central Fruit & Vegetable Market in Dubai, inspecting a total of 1110 tyres. The field engineers and the after sales service team of Central Trading Company, distributors of Michelin, also gave expert advice and information about alignment, mounting, tyre pressure and maintenance.
Continental Tyres, another leading German tyre manufacturer, shared a few safety tips, some of which we might know but is good to be reminded of. As the season is also a time for reflecting on good habits and good manners, I am posting this to call your attention to certain road manners and attitude that will always helps us to keep the vigil on the road.
- Try to avoid driving when tired. Stay alert and avoid high speeds if you need to drive.
- Avoid driving one hour before sunset if possible to reduce the rush and because many on the road may be driving at higher speeds to make it home for iftar.
- A corollary to the above: please make sure to leave five minutes early, and avoid having to rush for iftar.
- Avoid using cruise control for too long, especially closer to Iftar, when the long hours of fasting would have caused blood sugar and hydration to be low, impeding concentration.
- Have consistent meal times and a regular exercise routine. This will help you adjust to an altered schedule and reduce the possibility of tiredness.
- There could be iftar package distributors from charity groups on the road. Watch out for those who are trying to reach out to cars on the inner lanes.
- The usual safe distance rule is that of two seconds, with an additional couple of seconds for motorbikes. It is good to add a couple of extra seconds, giving allowance for tiredness as that could slow down reaction times.
And for the summer in general…
- Use a windscreen sunshade when you leave the car. It can help the interior temperature from shooting up.
- Turning the steering wheel half a circle, before you leave the car, can keep the gripping side away from the sun and thus less hot.
- Summer is also the time of dust storms and hazy outdoors. Check and clean headlights, taillights, and signal lights so that visibility is always good and you can be seen clearly too.
- Throughout the summer, make sure you are checking tyre pressure when the tyres are cold, and not hot from a long drive. Heated tyres will have increased pressure compromising the accuracy of reading.
It is serious enough to demand your action!
Globally, road traffic injuries are the leading cause of preventable death, claiming more than 1.2 million lives per year, according to a recent report by World Health Organisation (WHO) on the global status of road safety. Vision Zero is an ambitious global campaign to achieve zero fatalities, zero injuries and zero accidents.
The Middle East has one of the highest rates of road traffic fatalities, with estimated rates of 12.8, 10.9, and 27.4 deaths resulting from road accidents per 100,000 population in Egypt, United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia respectively. Now, compare it with countries leading international standards for road safety such as Sweden (2.8), the United Kingdom (2.9) and the Netherlands (3.4). We have a long way to go before achieving the vision of safe roads.