Amputee highlights the dangers of sleeping behind the wheel
A motorist who suffered horrific injuries in a crash in Abu Dhabi when he fell asleep while driving has urged others to make sure they are fit to get behind the wheel.
Egyptian Atif Ibrahim lost his right leg, suffered severe scarring to his left arm and can barely bend his right wrist. He now has an artificial leg and walks with crutches.
He said he had been working for 24 hours non-stop when he got in his car to drive home. He crashed outside Shahama in Abu Dhabi.
The consequences of the crash, two years ago, have had a huge impact on his life - he missed the birth of his son as he spent six months in Al Raba Hospital in Abu Dhabi, where he had his leg amputated.
Now Ibrahim is confined to a desk job at the electrical company where he worked and has spent 18 months learning to walk with an artificial leg.
He shared his story with 7DAYS after the release of a UAE University report which found that five per cent of all serious UAE car accidents are caused by people nodding off at the wheel.
It also found that 80 per cent of those drivers were doing speeds in excess of 100kph when they crashed. The report’s lead author, Dr Mohammed Al Houqani, told 7DAYS that drivers should take more breaks to prevent crashes and should be better educated about getting enough sleep.
Ibrahim echoed his words, urging drivers in the UAE not to make the mistake he did.
“Eight hours of work is enough for anyone,” he said.
“After that, go home and enjoy time with your family. Don’t be like me, don’t work too hard because you feel you have to. It’s too dangerous.”
As he spoke, his wife handed him his two-year-old son.
“My son is more important to me than any work,” Ibrahim said. “You realise what is most important when you nearly die.
“I am lucky to be alive but I do not want anyone to suffer the same injuries. Slow down and don’t work too much.”