Be an extra careful driver during Ramadan

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The holy month of Ramadan by its very nature calls for calm. The body and the mind have to be at peace. And one’s behaviour and actions should show a degree of equanimity. Such behaviour must also be evident while one is behind the wheel on the road.

Because of late night sleep during Ramadan, keeping awake while fasting during the day tends to slow down one’s reflexes. In such a situation speeding on the road is the last thing one should be indulging in. More so when there is a temptation to do so since it is the height of summer, the schools are closed, a good number of expatriates are away in their home countries with their children, and quite a few Bahrainis and expatriates alike are off on vacation in Europe or the Far East, thus leaving the roads virtually empty with hardly much traffic evident compared to the busy months of winter. So the roads lure one to speed but one must overcome the temptation to do so.

This is particularly applicable around the time of Iftar. Many a time people have met with accidents and faced tragic consequences because they had to visit a friend, a family or a dear one to share iftar but started out too close to the time when they had to break the fast, leaving little margin for the time to reach their destination. As a result the tendency is to speed on the ‘inviting’ roads to make up for the delay, the effort is to catch that ‘green light’ at the traffic signal before it turns red [and even to jump it on the sly if it does]. Never do that. Remember the adage: ‘Better Late Than Never’. Instead of getting caught in such a situation, why not give a little thought and time to plan your trip and set out well in time. Is it not a good idea to drive at 90km/ hr when an empty road is ‘inviting’ you to drive at 120km/hr. Try that for once and experience your joyous comfort level.

It is also the general custom during Ramadan to visit each other’s families with children in tow. But you must make children sit in the back seat for their safety and it is a good idea to have a child lock. The front seat is not for children. Apart from the fact that the seat belt in a vehicle is meant for adults and is therefore always loose on children [thereby making it useless for their protection in case of an accident], the little ones also tend to fiddle with the driving instruments such as the gear or the handbrake. So it is a good idea to keep them in the back.

As for yourself, your round-the-year rule should be to wear the belt without fail before starting the engine and not to use the phone while driving.