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Drive safely while fasting during Ramadan in Singapore. Get expert tips.

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May 17th is the start of Ramadan. This is a holy month for Muslims, marked by prayers and fasting from dawn till dusk. Fasting is thought to have some health benefits. However, it could also result in dehydration, low blood sugar, tiredness, over-steering and a frayed temper, resulting in a poor attention span. This could pose a safety hazard on the roads.

Here are some pointers from road safety experts to keep in mind if you are driving while fasting:

  • Stay focused and calm while driving
  • Keep the air-conditioning on high in the car. This will help keep you more alert and less drowsy.
  • Be particularly aware when driving home from work at the end of the day. This is when most fasters tend to feel more tired and dehydrated, making you more vulnerable.
  • Try and get sufficient rest. Sleeplessness, built up over several days, will affect your concentration, ability to focus and make decisions. This in turn would have an effect on your ability to respond safely to a hazardous driving situation. Plan your schedule during Ramadan to ensure you get enough sleep, some exercise and have your meals at a consistent time.
  • Be more cautious than usual with regular checks. For instance, before you head out on the road at night, ensure your headlights, taillights and signal lights are clean and working properly. Remove road film and dust from your windows so that you can see clearly.
  • Drive defensively. Observe all traffic signs, rules and regulations. Do keep a lookout out for the other drivers on the road. Use your defensive driving techniques to avoid hazardous situations. Do not forget to anticipate the other drivers’ actions.
  • Slow down. Avoid speeding and keep to the posted speed limits. Give yourself enough leeway to arrive at your destination on time. Tailor your speed to the road and weather conditions.
  • Build extra time into your trip so you can break for rests should tiredness set in. And avoid long drives.
  • Plan your schedule and leave early to avoid the need to rush and speed.
  • Avoid peak hours to keep your stress levels low.
  • Pull over immediately if you feel drowsy.
  • Be aware of your limitations. If you feel exhausted, it is best to switch to public transport instead.
  • Recognise the early signs of fatigue and do not begin your journey if you experience any of the following symptoms:

    1. Yawning
    2. Tired eyes
    3. Poor concentration
    4. Restlessness
    6. Drowsiness
    7. Slow reactions

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