Late for work; in your proper lane, several vehicles (bumper to bumper) ahead of you, right following distance. A line of taxis, boda bodas and polluting tippers decide to use the shoulder and several cars ahead try to join the lane ahead of you. How do you, as a road user, react?
Driving is the most dangerous work activity that people do. It is also a work that brings people of different cultures, education, gender, etc to share a common service â€“ the road. The road network that we are sharing today is more or less the same over fifty years ago when the number of vehicles was less than 5% of what we have on the roads today. The conflict on the road today is definitely higher considering that even the demands and lifestyles have changed.
In order to have a successful trip (however short), your mindset must be positive. If for any reason you are displeased, a motor vehicle is not the right place for your temperament. Unless you are in position to adjust your outlook, you may fail to know what is going on around you. Courtesy is only possible after acknowledging the presence of another human being.
To be a good driver, your defensive mechanism is knowing what is happening outside your vehicle. It has been said quite often that most accidents are caused by human error. Indeed, most issues that will make you negligent. The mobile phone/text messaging, radio, conversation distracts your concentration on road situation. Being courteous will make you feel good, this however is only possible when you are aware of what is outside. You must also be paying attention to other road usersâ€™ demands. The other road user may not necessarily be aware or acknowledge your courtesy. This courtesy is normally returned by another complete stranger.
We all become impatient in traffic jams even when we werenâ€™t in any hurry to reach where we are going. The taxis which use shoulder start getting at our nerves, this is made even worse by the boda boda which will stop with its â€˜tear gasâ€™ directly at your nose leaving you only polluted air. This is when ideas of trying the shoulder crops into your head; making another lane of traffic. When such a vehicle tries to join back into the lane, the driver in the right lanes moves just as fast to stop the intrusion.
This kind of tense driving builds our mood and this is the main cause of an impulse control disorder. Many of us flip off and curse such a driver who annoys us. Others hoot or flash the lights to show annoyance. Others take out guns and it is for this reason that police is being armed.
A number of actions will irritate us. If any of these irritate you, be courteous.
Â DONâ€™T EVER DO IT TO THE VEHICLES NEXT TO YOU.
- Traveling slowly in the right lane at slow speeds well knowing that others behind you want to pass.
- Driving with full lights right behind another vehicle or an on-coming vehicle.
- Slowing down immediately after passing someone.
- Blasting the horn.
- Flashing lights to force people out of your way.
- Obscene gestures.
- Suddenly changing lanes.
- Cutting off other motorists.
Delaying to take off when the traffic lights turn green.
Where you fall a victim to any of these, avoid responding in kind. It is the most efficient corrective measure that the aggressive driver will understand. If we all try to answer aggressiveness with courtesy, we shall tremendously reduce on the road carnage that is rising. Remember the festive season is at hand, most people who have been saving are busy buying vehicles. There are more learners and novice drivers on our roads which demands special caution.