• Surviving Congested City Driving

    Posted on: December 5th, 2012 by admin 3 Comments

    Lagos-traffic-670x509

    When the topic of congested cities is brought up here in Nigeria, the first city that comes to mind is Lagos. Up North we have densely populated cities like Kano and Kaduna with their peculiar traffic issues, while in the Niger Delta region we have cities like Port-harcourt, Uyo and Calabar where activities in those areas are centralized around the major cities.

    With this reality before vehicle owners and commuters, it means at one point or the other, they will have to deal with road traffic problems due to prevailing conditions. Asides the normal difficulties associated with owning and driving a car, vehicle owners are bound to contend with the nature of roads and traffic in their areas; as well as the kinds of people within, security stance and the general level of adherence to road laws.

    Driving ideally should be fun and cars are made for convenience in the first place, however for this to truly be the case inspite of prevailing conditions, you need to adopt certain methods and digest some quick facts on how to make driving pleasurable no matter the condition. Below are a few of these facts and methods for you to take full advantage of in enjoying every moment behind the wheel.

    Select the right Car: as a city dweller you need to first consider the type of car to own in the first instance. Today we have a wide range of city cars like Toyota Yaris, Nissan Sunny, Honda Civic, etc; all of which have high mpg (miles per gallon) ratings-meaning these vehicles consume less fuel when used within cities. Also cars with low–end torque are favourable for city driving. Hence in choosing the car to buy evaluate your decision and have in mind features of your intended buy that appeal to city driving.

    Maintain low stress levels: driving induced stress and stressors are for real; driving stress can produce many different emotions and physical effects, which means for you to avoid such, you have to be proactive! It all begins with first identifying factors that develop stress in your specific case and figuring how to effectively manage such. A simple cause of driving stress might be sun-rays penetrating your car’s wind-screen and affecting your eyes; in such a situation installing sun-visors or driving with sun shades during afternoon periods might be the simple solution. But in more general cases, ways to avoid driving stress are as follows: maintaining great car interior, using air-conditioners during intense weather, planning your trips ahead, playing your preferred music to stay active and practicing safe driving.

    Stay alert and focused: One of the popular factors behind the high rates of road accidents is the ‘human factor’. If for any reason like being drunk or extremely tired, desist from driving so as not to become a problem to yourself and other road users. Staying alert increases your thinking time behind the wheel and also being sensitive means you quickly observe happenings around you while driving and respond accordingly.

    Be security conscious: there have been countless cases of robbery in progress in the midst of heated up traffic. These criminals largely operate in ‘stealth mode’ so as not to attract too much attention. Most of these men are deterred by wound-up glasses and locked doors, which means you need to protect yourself especially at night and avoid buying things from hawkers at these times-because this might even be an avenue of entry or robbery. In a nutshell, don’t be assuming and avoid robbery prone spots within your city as much as you can. Extend your security consciousness to where you park your vehicle as well, car washing service centers you patronize and even the kinds of mechanics you entrust your car with.

    Know your routes and peak traffic periods: stress free driving is hinged on proper timing and adept understanding of the routes you normally ply. Rather than ply the popular express, there might be some unbelievable alternative routes which can enable you to get around more easily. Understanding your daily route for instance means you know areas to avoid during peak traffic periods; this helps you come up with a possible way of evading such. But however, whenever there are no alternative routes, the best you can do is to sensibly alternate your mood to suit the traffic situation before you.

    Drive smartly and sensibly: moving your vehicle from one spot to another is hardly a sport or some sort of competition; even if it were, you win some and you lose some. Getting on the road with the mind frame that other road users are ‘the enemy’ isn’t the healthy way to go. Instead drive smartly; like in traffic jams you don’t have to get too close to the bumper in front of you, don’t ‘over-raise’ your car and speedily wear your clutch disc/pressure plate (for manual gearboxes) or overheat your automatic gearbox. Drive as safely as possible rather than upholding conventional ‘danfo’ driving as your benchmark.

    Maintain your car accordingly: a poorly maintained car can lead to many problems for you. On a basic level, a poorly maintained car is a security risk because one can’t predict when and where such will eventually breakdown. One attribute of congested cities are varieties of car mechanics and automobile service providers; be wise enough to employ the services of a good one to avoid added or totally avoidable car issues to you as an owner.

    photo credit:fhmindia.com

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    3 Responses

    1. Justdean says:

      Nice one.I assume ur talking about private car owners but what about commercial car owners? Would liked if u wrote something about how commercial car owners should maintain their cars too. Thanks a lot. More grease to ur elbow.

    2. Toye says:

      Great work on your website and good advice here.

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