The Hamad Trauma Center (HTC) of Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC) is advising motorists to take extra care when driving during this Ramadan.

Every year, the HTC admits up to 900 patients with severe road traffic injuries and the number of severely injured patients historically rises during Ramadan. However, an increase in public awareness campaigns and traffic law enforcement has led to a significant reduction in the total number of deaths from road traffic injuries during Ramadan in the past two years.

Dr Hassan Al Thani, Head of the Trauma at HMC ,said:

We advise road users to exercise extra patience and restraint during this Ramadan as people may be rushing to break their fast or more prone to impaired driving because they are distracted, tired or sleepy. They also need to take extra precautions while on the roads in order to avoid preventable crashes that can occur due to over speeding and the humid and dusty conditions.’

The HTC offers the following advice to road users with the aim of preventing road injuries and deaths during this period:

  • Drivers and all passengers must each wear a seatbelt on every trip; this is the only proven way to prevent severe injuries and deaths in motor vehicle crashes.
  • Always listen to weather forecasts and general advice about driving conditions on local radio or TV, so you can plan your route and make an earlier trip if necessary.
  • Always drive within speed limits and increase the distance between you and the vehicle in front so you can brake safely.
  • Avoid distractions such as mobile phones, earphones or the stereo, so you can pay full attention to the road conditions. This goes for both drivers and pedestrians.
  • If you are a pedestrian or a cyclist, use the bike lanes, pedestrian crossings and sidewalks constructed especially for you. Walk in the direction facing the traffic flow so you can see oncoming vehicles and they will not suddenly emerge from behind or beside you.

The number one action you can do to protect yourself in the event of road traffic accident is to wear a seatbelt – not only in Ramdan, but every single time you travel in a vehicle.’

Drivers and passengers who are not wearing seatbelts are at a much higher risk of dying, being ejected from a vehicle, or suffering from a severe injury or permanent brain damage, if they are involved in a road crash or accident. Drivers who do not use a seatbelt are five times more likely to die, while front seat passengers are four times more likely to die, if they are unrestrained. Most affected are backseat passengers who are seven times more likely to die if they are not restrained.’

Image credit: Gustav Brandt

Ramadan Guide 2016