Continental brings safety into focus this Ramadan with driving tips

Coinciding with the arrival of Ramadan and its associated shift in traffic patterns in the region, Continental, the premium German tyre manufacturer and long-dedicated advocate of greater safety on the roads, has released a set of driving tips to highlight the need to exercise caution while driving.

At a time when people in the Middle East are even more focused on self-control and generosity, the holy month also provides an opportunity for drivers to reflect on and improve their own behaviour on the roads. By developing a series of driving tips tailored to the region, Continental endeavours to help drivers lower the number of road traffic accidents in the region and ultimately achieve their goal of Vision Zero: an ambitious global campaign to achieve zero fatalities, zero injuries and zero accidents.  

Globally, road traffic injuries are the leading cause of preventable death, claiming more than 1.2 million lives per year, according to the World Health Organization (WHO) in a recent report on the global status of road safety. The third such report conducted by the United Nations' health agency, provides startling data on road traffic injuries.

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 populations in Egypt, United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia respectively. This is a stark comparison to countries leading international standards for road safety such as Sweden (2.8), the United Kingdom (2.9) and the Netherlands (3.4).

With rising temperatures in the Middle East region, and the potential of additional side effects for those fasting during the holy month of Ramadan, drivers need to be especially careful.  Additionally, traffic patterns, that see the number of cars on the roads soar as people travel to break their fast at Iftar, present drivers with a greater need than usual to consider a number of skills and demonstrate certain attitudes while driving. To help stay safe on the roads this Ramadan, Continental recommends:

  1. Avoiding the overuse of cruise control as the lack of engagement can lead to a drowsy driver losing concentration at the wheel, especially making long journeys in the hours before Iftar, when blood sugar levels and hydration are naturally at their lowest when fasting.
  2. Avoiding driving one hour before sunset, where possible, as people may be driving at higher speeds, rushing home in time for Iftar.
  3. Having consistent meal times and a regular exercise routine. This will help adjustment to an altered schedule and reduce the possibility of tiredness while driving.
  4. Using a windscreen sun shade and turning the steering wheel 180 degrees before getting out of the car. This ensures that the side held while driving is safely in the shade. The windscreen shade works to keep the car interior cooler, lowering the risk of dehydration.
  5. Ensuring your car is parked safely at prayer time, so that it doesn't impede the traffic flow; as this can lead to congestion and accidents.
  6. Staying alert for road sight pedestrians as many people may be distributing free beverages and meals to drivers during Iftar.
  7. Being visible on the roads by ensuring that headlights, taillights, and signal lights are clean and working properly. With dust storms more prevalent in the summer, windows and lights are liable to have a covering of thick dust, potentially impairing vision and visibility.
  8. Checking tyre pressure when the vehicle is cold for an accurate reading. Tyres will warm up while driving, which naturally increases pressure.
  9. Keeping a safe distance by maintaining a sufficient gap of two-three seconds from the vehicle in front, extending that time to four seconds for motorcycles and allowing for slower reaction times for tired drivers.

Continental, a pioneer in road safety for more than 140 years, takes their claim to the next level with the 'Vision Zero' campaign. The company is proud to provide holistic expertise in the key technologies for more road safety with high-tech tyres inflated to the correct pressure and with adequate tread depth.

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