As the holy month of Ramadan draws to a close and Eid al-Fitr approaches, Hamad Medical Corporation’s (HMC) Hamad Injury Prevention Programme (HIPP), has reminded all drivers, passengers and pedestrians to exercise extra precautions and abide by traffic laws in order to help prevent road traffic accident injuries during this time of increased road activity.
Hamad Injury Prevention Programme (HIPP) is the community outreach arm of the Hamad Trauma Center.
Dr Aisha Fathi Abeid, assistant director of the HIPP, says the main cause of road traffic accident injuries is drivers not following traffic rules. She says speeding, as well as distracted driving, which includes the increased use of mobile devices and technology in vehicles, are both leading causes of motor vehicle crashes in Qatar.
“A key factor contributing to the increase in motor vehicle crashes that we often see around Ramadan and the Eid holidays is motorists driving while distracted or impaired. Throughout the year, but especially during Ramadan and the Eid holidays and other times when there is an increased volume of vehicles on the road, it is important for drivers to follow traffic rules, pay extra attention to other road users including pedestrians, and also to give themselves extra time to get to their destination,” said Dr Abeid.
“Wearing a seatbelt is also essential. The single most important action you can take to protect yourself in a vehicle is to wear a seatbelt at all times. Public awareness campaigns and mandatory seatbelt laws and their enforcement have been highly effective in increasing the rates of seatbelt use. "However, it is important that every occupant, driver or passenger, adult or children, whether they are sitting in the front or back seat, wears a seatbelt during every journey,” added Dr Abeid.
Dr Abeid recommends trying to finish shopping as early as possible to avoid peak hours for road use. She also urges parents to take extra precautions and to not allow children to play in the street or road in residential areas, especially at night. She says motorists should avoid parking their vehicles in a manner that obstructs traffic movement on the road, particularly outside mosques during prayer times, or outside residences.
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