Ramadan is one of the most important religious celebrations in the Islamic calendar during which participants observe strict rules that include fasting between sunrise and sunset and additional prayers.
It is important for managers to be aware of Ramadan and its possible impact on employees’ driving abilities.
Prayers during the night time and skipping meals coupled with eating at different times can have a significant effect on drivers who are observing Ramadan.
Your business needs to be aware of Ramadan and its effect on the driving ability of those who are observing the festival.
So what are the issues?
The mental and physical stresses of this regime can cause challenges for Muslim drivers and result in a higher than average accident rate.
- Low blood sugar levels and dehydration cause loss of concentration, dizziness and headaches.
- Prayer times can disrupt sleep patterns and this can cause daytime drowsiness, poor concentration and reduced alertness.
- Research shows that tiredness has been found to increase impatience with other drivers; yawning and daydreaming, which can result in drivers missing road signs and turns at junctions.
Actions for Fleet Managers
Managers should familiarise themselves with the additional driving stresses introduced by observing Ramadan. It is suggested that managers meet with Muslim drivers to discuss the ways in which Ramadan can affect driving.
Details of the festival should also be communicated to non-Muslim employees to ensure a ‘team approach’ of support and awareness.
Other recommended steps include:
- Manage drivers’ schedules effectively to reflect the effect on drivers who are observing Ramadan. Remember, longer journeys will be more challenging for Muslim drivers.
- Encourage drivers to take more regular breaks and ‘power naps’ if necessary.
- Encourage open communication between the management team and Muslim drivers.
- Give drivers a reminder on defensive driving.