Every Ramadan, Qatar’s emergency rooms brace for an influx of patients with road-related injuries.
Many of these are the result of preventable accidents caused by motorists who are rushing to break their fasts and/tor driving while they are distracted, tired or sleepy, Dr. Hassan Al Thani, head of trauma at Hamad Medical Corp (HMC), said in a statement this week.
In previous years, up to 900 people with traffic trauma have been treated by HMC providers in Ramadan, the statement added.
To stay safe on the roads this year, doctors offer the following common-sensical tips.
- Be patient, especially at iftar time. This is when everyone on the roads is rushing to get somewhere, making them more susceptible to accidents.
- Wear your seatbelt (this applies to drivers and passengers).
- Check the weather and driving conditions before you go. Allot extra time if need be, rather than be stressed on the roads while running late.
- Drive the speed limit and at a safe distance. This will allow you to brake safely when necessary.
- No cell phones. Talking on the phone is distracting, and can take your attention off of what’s going on in front of you. Pedestrians are also advised to avoid listening to music so they can be more aware of their surroundings.
To keep pedestrians safe during Ramadan, the Traffic Department will be distributing reflective bracelets that help motorists spot those walking around at night.
The Peninsula reports Major Jaber Mohamed Rashid Odaiba, assistant director of Media & Traffic Awareness Department, as saying:
“For the first time, we will distribute safety bracelets to pedestrians during Ramadan to protect from accidents. We have also proposed to build more pedestrian bridges at several busy commercial streets and the Doha Corniche, where more accidents take place.”
Reflective Garangao bags will also be handed out to children, starting the first day of Ramadan at Landmark, Villaggio and Al Khor malls.
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