Come every festive season, the traffic jams are horrendous. The fact that there are more cars on the roads means heavier traffic, but each and every one of us on the road can help to minimize the congestion, and hence make the road safer.
Here are some of the things each one of us can do:-
1) Maintain Speed limit and follow the main flow.
If everybody maintains the speed limit of 110 kmh on the highway, then it means that everybody is going at 110 kmh. The problem begins when people drive slower than the speed limit. These drivers effectively become the ‘pebbles’ rolling in a stream. All other drivers going at the speed limit have to slow down for these drivers or drive around them – having to slow down for these cars will eventually slow down the traffic, and the crawls will start.
2) Leave the fast lane clear.
Always leave the fast lane clear for faster cars to overtake. It is potentially dangerous to hold faster traffic behind you, as the faster drivers will tend to get impatient, and will try all sorts of manoeuvres to get past you, and this can cause accidents to happen. Do not insist on staying on the fast lane. One of the signs that you are hogging the road is when you have people overtaking you from the left. Another obvious sign is when people start flashing you or giving you dirty looks of the finger. If you have to use the fast lane to overtake, by all means do so – signal your intention, do it and move back when done. Another common fault is people forgetting to move back to the left after having overtaken a slower car.
3) Overtake smartly – do not dilly-dally
Fuel-saving techniques are good, but you must know when you need to put a little more pressure on the accelerator. When overtaking another car, do step on the gas. If you want to irritate the guy behind you by going slowly, do it another time. Think of it as you doing your civic duty to keep the roads safe.
4) Do not create your own traffic jam
It is amazing how a bunch of cars can move together for miles together in their own little jam. Remember that it takes 2 hands to clap, and the more cars there are around you, the higher the chances of traffic incidents. If you find yourself ‘trapped’ in a bunch of cars, you have two choices – either accelerate away or slow down and drop back from the pack.
5) Driving on Trunk roads
Traffic jams on trunk roads are usually caused when there is a slow moving vehicle travelling on the road. All faster traffic will pass it until there comes along another driver who cannot pass, and now there are two vehicles on that road. The third car will now have two cars to pass, and if he can, he will pass, until another one who is not that good at passing comes along, and then there will be three cars moving together, and so on, until there is a long line. This is when accidents will start to happen.
If you are the first car in this line, you will know it by the long line of cars behind you, or you notice cars following you for a long time and not passing you. The thing to do is to pull over or slow down where it is safe, and wave the cars behind pass you. Stop at a lay-by if necessary.
If you are the second or third car, and cannot pass, leave a space between you and the car in front so that others can work their way around you. Remember that you are in a potentially dangerous position, and consider dropping back or stopping so that you are not the indirect cause of a slow line of traffic.