DUBAI, UAE – “What’s the safest way to drive when I’m pregnant?”
“How should I use safety belts during pregnancy?”
“What should I have in my car?”
“What do I need to be aware of when I have babies or children in the car?”
These are questions mothers and expectant mothers often have, but may have a hard time getting clear answers on.
In celebration of International Women’s Day, Mother’s Day and Gulf Cooperation Council Traffic Week, Ford Middle East recently hosted a Safe Driving Skills Workshop for Moms and Moms-to-Be to help address these questions. The workshop provided driving tips and information from Ford, the Dubai government’s Road and Transport Authority and Dubai Autodrome instructors.
“Capitalising on the success of the Ford Driving Skills for Life campaign launched in the UAE last month, this workshop is designed to help moms and moms-to-be understand how to drive and operate their vehicles safely, but also provides information that is essential for all drivers,” said Paul Anderson, Marketing director, Ford Middle East. “This is part of Ford’s ongoing commitment to promote safe and responsible driving in all the communities where we serve our customers.”
For moms concerned about child safety while driving, the workshop offered a session on the importance of child seats and provided essential information and instructions, including proper installation, as well as tips for driving with children.
“Child safety seats and booster seats are essential for protecting your children from car accidents. However, and unfortunately, many mothers still hold their babies in their arms or let children sit on their laps while the vehicle is in motion – this is extremely dangerous,” said Deema Hussein, Road and Transport Authority traffic awareness manager. “Parents must understand the severity of this matter and start using child seats in order to reduce infant and child fatalities and injuries.”
In addition to attending the round table session filled with tips and information, journalists representing publications from around the GCC spent time at the Dubai Autodrome to experience the Ford Focus, Edge and Explorer and the segment-leading technologies that make driving safer and easier for moms: active park assist, Blind Spot Information System with cross traffic alert, collision warning, Lane Departure Warning, Driver Alert, SOS Post-Crash Alert System and SYNC.
Ford is committed to long-term efforts to educate and promote road safety in the Middle East. This includes the Driving Skills for Life programme that was launched in the UAE earlier this year and which, to date, has trained more than 750 university students around the emirates in key areas that affect younger drivers the most, to help reduce road accidents and save lives.
Vehicle accidents are one of the leading causes of fatalities and injuries to UAE residents. Ministry of Interior statistics show there were 450 fatalities and 5,543 injuries resulting from traffic accidents in the first nine months of 2012.
In Saudi Arabia, an average of 17 people die on the roads each day, according to the General Directorate of Traffic. The World Health Organization found Saudi Arabia to have the world’s highest number of deaths from road accidents, which now make up the country’s principal cause of death in adult males aged 16 to 36.
According to recent studies by the Traffic Department in Kuwait, there are 8.5 accidents per hour, with fatalities averaging 1.3 per day. More than half of the deaths are among 15 - 44-year-olds.
These figures are projected to increase by 65 per cent over the next 20 years if there is no commitment to prevention.