10 tips for a meaningful drive when fasting

Ramadan, the Holiest month for Muslims all over the world, has finally arrived. This blessed month is a reflection of the rituals of faith that strengthen the links between each individual and Allah (SWT). Interestingly, this month also establishes a link between Muslims all over the world as they immerse themselves in this spiritual journey. Each country has its own traditions and customs which distinguish it from the rest. However, 1.8 billion Muslims across the world have one thing in common: Fasting.
We all have a “busy” schedule these days. It is difficult to find a balance between your work and your personal obligations. However, no matter how busy we get, there are some duties we must all follow. Here are some simple, helpful tips to follow during Ramadan that will make you a more positive and caring member of society:

1. Say NO to road rage

It takes diligence and steadfastness to observe patience on the road. It is very easy to lose your patience. The challenge is remaining calm. Take on that challenge and be mindful of others on the road. Remember, just like you, they are fasting as well. One act of kindness on the road will have a Domino Effect; it will trigger off a series of fortunate events simply because you chose to keep your cool.

2. Don’t be reckless

With only a few minutes left for Iftar, that raging growl in our belly erupts and we instinctively tighten our grips on our steering wheels! Before you know it, you find yourself in the middle of bumper to bumper traffic; you are late for Iftar and nowhere close to home. Skip the drama, stay motivated and drive responsibly.

3. Do not drive sleep-deprived

According to a report published in 2013 by Emirates Driving Institute (EDI), lack of sleep can impede one’s driving performance, trigger irritability and result in daytime drowsiness. Drowsiness and lack of sleep impacts reaction time, and causes the motorist to drive at his/her suboptimal level. This is dangerous not only for those in the passenger seat and behind the wheel, but every other person on the road. Take a power nap before your journey. This could do wonders for your overall mood as well as your ability to drive responsibly.

Another thing to be mindful of is low blood sugar while fasting, especially for diabetics. Take the necessary precautions as prescribed by your specialist and stay safe out there!

4. Start your journey early to avoid speeding

You are more likely to resort to speeding if you are fasting, especially if you do not plan ahead. Why not be more organized and inculcate a positive habit of planning ahead of time in order to prevent any harm to ourselves and others? Making a conscious effort to do so will impact us tenfold in the long run as well. Good time management is crucial and leaving time to buffer in your schedule to reach your destination on time is very important.

5. Check your vehicle

Before heading out on the road, ensure the following are fully functional:
• Headlights
• Brake lights
• Tail lights
• Signal lights
• Clean windows to ensure road film and dust is removed so as to not impair your vision

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6. Be on a lookout for traffic signs, rules and regulations

Do not swerve through lanes and maneuver your way through traffic. Cutting lanes is strictly off limits. Be alert throughout and focus on your driving techniques. TPL Trakker’s harsh cornering, harsh braking and harsh acceleration alerts are there to assist you!

7. Cramping during dehydration

Dehydration causes lactic acid to accumulate in your muscles. This could trigger Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS), which will impair driving performance, and cause poor hand-eye coordination. Having those extra glasses of water during Sehri can go a long way for your day.

8. Always wear your seatbelt

This particular one goes without saying, but it still gets an honorable mention on this list. Thanks to Telematics and technology, an alert will keep you on track for this particular safety measure, but that is just a bonus. We must go the extra mile on our part to drive responsibly.

9. Adjust your driving according to weather conditions

Weather plays a huge role in impacting driving behavior. The key elements we need to be mindful of are the ones that cause impaired vision, slippery roads, loss of control, and chronic injuries. These can be the result of rain, fog, dust, hail, heavy wind etc. With a decrease in visibility and a diminished ability to handle our vehicles in some of these conditions, we must drive accordingly for each of these bad weather driving conditions. In these cases, we must proceed with extreme caution and practice defensive driving techniques in order to remain in control of our vehicles.

10. Stay focused and calm

Last but not least; remaining calm, while driving in your fast, is perhaps the foundation of good driving behavior to practice on the roads. We must truly channel within ourselves the change that we want to see in others. Leading by example and being stellar role models means our mission to be better is 50% complete.

Having said all this, it is important to say that you’re not going to become a dangerous driver just because you’re fasting. In fact, being a little hungry is relatively less hazardous than driving with a full stomach – we all know that feeling of needing a snooze after a big meal. However, be aware of the possible dangers that are accompanied by the symptoms of driving. If you become more than a little hungry and fatigued during Ramadan, you should always know what to do to prevent those dangers.

We truly believe that the pure essence of Ramadan lies in the personal links we establish that enable us to connect with one another. To understand each other better, harness compassion and insight, and finally, love.

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