We’re in the midst of the blessed Ramadhan season once more, and many motorists on the roads are likely to be fasting. Driving for long distances may take a toll on one’s concentration, further compounded by thirst and hunger.
Which is why we’ve compiled a handy list of driving tips for our Muslim motorists, to ensure a peaceful and safe journey behind the wheel!
Take Care of Your Sleeping, Eating, and Exercising Patterns
It’s no secret that sufficient sleep does wonders to you, both physically and mentally. Not only does it allow your body to completely relax from the stresses of driving, it also lets your body repair itself (think tissue repair and growth hormones), which leads to an improved mental state when you wake up.A good rest allows us to have sharp focus, make sound decisions, and respond to situations appropriately, which is essential for when you’re on the road.
Memory and thinking processes are improved too with regular exercise! Keeping yourself fit not only improves physical fitness, but also overall health of the brain with the growth of new blood vessels and increased survival of new brain cells.
Setting a fixed time for your meals does wonders to your health as well. Consistently maintaining your energy throughout the day allows your digestive system to stay healthy, while at the same time minimising the possibility of obesity, cardiovascular disease, and Type 2 diabetes!
Take a Power Nap First if You Feel Sleepy
Highway driving can take a toll on your concentration levels. Zoning out and not recalling where you’ve driven is a very real phenomenon (called highway hypnosis), brought on by factors like fatigue and overall sleepiness.This presents a clear safety issue for both you and your occupants, as well as other road users. Which is why we highly recommend that you pull over to the nearest R&R stop to catch a break, and even take a power nap!
As explained previously, sleep can help to reset your body and improve your concentration, which you’ll definitely benefit from having when you’re clocking long hours and high numbers on the odometer.
Practise Road Courtesy and Patience Towards Other Motorists
With the holiday season about to reach an all-time high, it is understandable that the highways and backroads will be full of motorists who just want to go home to their loved ones. And with most traffic jams, road rage occurrences caused by miscommunication would be high.We highly recommend that you refrain fromt escalating it through confrontation. Instead, take the high road and be patient, adopting a “live and let live” mindset so that everyone gets to their destinations safe and sound.
It is also recommended that you practise being courteous towards other road users, so that the driving experience shared by all is a positive and peaceful one, as it should be during Ramadhan!
Set Off Earlier to Avoid Last-Minute Speeding
Ever found yourself in a situation where you’re rushing to get somewhere as a result of insufficient planning? This rushing usually extends to high speed driving, which increases the possibility of a road traffic accident to occur.As a rule of thumb, we advise that you plan your schedule in advance before even setting off, and take into account the present traffic conditions along your route! This lets you map out the estimated time of your journey, and reduce the need to speed and potentially cause a collision with other road users.
Adjust Your Speed to the Road and Weather Conditions
While driving at the speed limit is both lawful and time-efficient, external factors may adversely affect your plans, and require you to adapt accordingly.Heavy traffic, erratic weather, and even road hazards can pose a danger to your safety (and that of other users), so it is a wise move to adjust your speed accordingly and slow down to a reasonable rate. As the saying goes, “biar lambat, asalkan selamat (be slow as long as it’s safe)”.
Stay Alert With Good Driving Techniques, Watch Out for Other Fatigued Drivers
It’s not uncommon to encounter other motorists who may be fighting fatigue and exhaustion, which can be seen by erratic driving patterns and last-minute changes (e.g. exiting off the highway at the last possible second).We highly recommend that you remain alert at all times and anticipate such situations so that you are not caught off-guard. Practise defensive driving as well, in order to keep yourself & your occupants safe. This means observing the 12-second rule, and keeping a safe distance behind the car in front of you.
If possible, we also recommend that you signal to the fatigued driver to pull over and rest, for their own safety!
Check Your Car Before Setting Off
Before even turning your car on, it is a good habit to do a quick inspection around it to ensure that it’s safe to operate.
Look out for flat tyres, loose/damaged body panels, and other damages that may affect the driveability and overall safety of the vehicle. Also ensure that there’s no warning or check engine light engaged on the instrument cluster, which are indicators of something wrong mechanically with the car.Get your vehicle checked by a reputable mechanic if you’re unsure, so that the odds of facing a preventable breakdown are low, and you can drive off in peace!
Ensure Headlights, Taillights, and Signal Lights Are Working Properly
Visiblity can be especially poor in heavy rain, fog, or dark conditions. This is a clear road safety issue, and not being able to see other motorists can be dangerous if you’re travelling at a high rate of speed.It is a good practice to check your vehicle’s head and tail lights, as well as the signals, to ensure that they’re in good working order before you set off. This way, not only are you being a responsible driver, you are also being mindful of other motorists and looking out for them.
Consider Carpooling or Taking Public Transport
If you’re not looking to endure long hours of driving and braving harsh weather conditions, we recommend taking public transport or carpooling with others!Not only can you get plenty of rest, you also do not need to do the required planning. On top of that, you might also make new friends along the way!
We wish you a safe journey on the roads, and hope that you are able to reach your destination and meet your loved ones this Ramadhan safe and sound!
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