MUSCAT, July 11 – Don’t drive if you are drowsy to avoid accidents and stay unhurt. Sleep is a powerful biological drive that can overtake even the best driver. This tip comes from the Royal Oman Police (ROP), especially in view of the long drive to Salalah for the khareef (monsoon) festival that is expected to draw thousands of visitors — both domestic and foreign. According to an official at the ROP, drowsy driving is a result of lack of enough sleep and one of the major reasons for many road accidents.
“Drowsy drivers are responsible for many preventable collisions and close calls. A majority of the drivers involved in these kinds of mishaps don’t recognise their condition at the time,” said an official.
According to ROP, fatigue causes serious car accidents leading to loss of lives.
“Symptoms of sleep-deprived or fatigue driving include slowed reactions, crossing lanes, constant yawning and frequent blinking,” the official said.
Driving is a complex activity that involves many small but important split decisions at every passing second. Studies show that excessive sleepiness decreases our sense of judgment and increases the risk.
AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, an agency that works to reduce car crashes, suggests that drivers who miss between one and two hours of recommended seven hours of sleep during a 24-hour period nearly double their risk of a crash.
In a recent tweet, the ROP said that sleeping for at least 15 minutes can save a life.
It said in a tweet, “Closing your eyes for three seconds while driving is almost equivalent to passing an 80-metre distance without seeing anything. If you’re tired, stop. If you have a companion with you in the vehicle, ensure they stay awake while you are driving.”
According to a recent survey, roads have become less dangerous as there was a significant decline in incidents of tailgating, distracted driving, sudden lane swerving and speeding.
National Centre for Statistics and Information (NCSI) data shows that the number of road accidents in Oman fell substantially by 39.8 per cent at the end of April this year as against 1,323 during the corresponding period in 2017.
In April, 25.5 per cent of accidents took place in Muscat, while 50 per cent of accidents were reported during night across Oman.
As part of the Salalah Tourism Festival, the Dhofar Traffic Department has already intensified inspections as part of enforcing traffic laws to reduce accidents.