Hamad Trauma Centre, under Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC), is reminding motorists to practice safe driving when using the roads, especially during Iftar and the upcoming Eid holidays.
In an appeal to all families and residents of Qatar, Dr Hassan Al Thani, Head of the Hamad Trauma Centre, said that during this month of observance, everyone should keep families and friends safe by providing constant adult supervision for young children as they walk on roads or in parking areas. He also reminded all drivers and passengers to use seatbelts and to ensure that children are in car seats on every journey.
He emphasised the importance of driving within the speed limit and abstaining from distractions, such as using mobile phones while driving.
Dr Rafael Consunji, Director of the Hamad Injury Prevention Programme, the community outreach arm of the Hamad Trauma Centre, also advised road users to exercise extra attention, patience and restraint during Ramadan as people may be rushing to break their fast or are more prone to impaired driving because they are distracted, tired or sleepy.
Hamad Trauma Centre offers the following recommendations to all road users to safeguard against road injuries and avoidable deaths during this period:
- Drivers and all passengers must wear seatbelts on every trip; this is the only proven way to prevent severe injuries and death in motor vehicle crashes. Child passengers, younger than 11 years, must be seated in the rear seat or in an age appropriate car seat.
- Always drive within the speed limit and increase the distance between you and the vehicle in front so you can brake safely.
- Avoid distractions such as mobile phones, earphones or loud music, so you can pay full attention to road conditions; this goes for both drivers and paedestrians.
- If you are a paedestrian or a cyclist, use the bicycle paths (where available), paedestrian crossings and sidewalks. 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.
- Young children, less than 10 years, do not have the necessary skills to walk safely on their own. They must always be supervised by a responsible adult when they play or walk on roads or in parking areas.
- Always listen to weather forecasts and general advice about driving conditions on the local radio or TV so you can plan your route and make an earlier trip if necessary.