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Yetyne: 7 Types of Lagos Drivers

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Driving in Lagos could be nerve-racking; it’s not enough that you are driving correctly, you also have to be extremely mindful of other motorists. One minute you are cruising down the road, humming to your favorite song or lost in one happy thought, next thing you know they don use their reggae spoil your blues. From ‘Godwin’ to ‘You don hit my car’ in a split second, just like that.
My 3 step approach to driving in Lagos goes thus: ensure I’m a decent driver, let God take the wheel when my patience is being tested, and if all else fails I relax knowing that my insurance company has my back.
I share the belief that one’s personality is reflected in their actions and inactions. Driving is not an exception to this rule, you can get a glimpse of one’s character and values by their theatrics on the road. Over time I have been able to profile most of the drivers I’ve come across into a few groups. You may ask, “How does that help reduce the price of fuel?” In my case I have noticed it helps when I identify the type of driver I’m dealing with; I am better guided in my response to the situation, thereby helping God to help me.

So let’s check out the 7 categories of drivers that caught my eye, we have the:

Team ‘Prim and Proper’- the good guys
They do not over speed, they use their indicator properly, they do not jump queues or pull some illegal stunts, their driving is just right. People like my Dad are found in this group, they believe that ‘slow and steady wins the race’, and ‘it’s not how far but how well’, they are quite risk-averse.
Membership of this team however is not solely dictated by character. Owners of expensive vehicles who cannot afford ‘stories that touch’ form part of this group, they stay in the inner lanes far far away from the Danfos, refusing to venture out of their comfort zone till they get to their destination.

Team ‘It’s all about me’
These are the drivers who think nothing of straddling two lanes while trying to decide which lane to settle for, they refuse to turn on their trafficator before veering off the road (the expectation is that you should be in their head to know where/when they intend to turn off the road), they don’t mind stopping in the middle of the road to ask for directions, or engaging in phone calls while in motion. I’m not a fan of this category of drivers…enough said

Team ‘Quicksilver’
Maybe it’s our love for the adrenalin rush or our impatience, maybe it’s the need to compensate for a career in car racing that we missed out on…the fact is we are speed demons on the road. We dislike being stuck in traffic or behind a slow moving vehicle and are the usual culprits behind most rear-end collisions.

Team ‘Sharp Boy’
These peeps have no regard whatsoever for order, structure or even BRT and one-way lanes, they can cut corners for Africa! Darting in and out of lanes like unwanted vermin in a house, they see an orderly queue and proceed to jump it. They switch lanes to the front of your car, without turning on their blinker, in a well-executed move that will have a Formula One driver scratching his head. The Danfos and Keke Napeps are the poster boys for this group

Team ‘R.E.S.P.E.C.T’
I’m a card carrying member of this association, before I learnt how to ‘straighten my hand’ I could block any errant driver who wanted to chance me. This category of people do not suffer fools gladly on the highway, they take it personal! You want to switch lanes and get in front of their vehicle? Do the right thing, use your indicator. You jumped the queue and want them to take pity on you and give you space to enter? No way in hell! Female drivers and taxi drivers account for the majority of this team. Their common enemy? Team ‘Sharp Boy’!

Team ‘I have nothing to lose’
Feel free to ‘drag lane’ with these guys if you have a death wish for your car. Driving cars that should be in ‘Owode Onirin’ (our equivalent of a scrapyard in Lagos) due to their old age and/or being riddled with battle scars, they are very aware that an additional dent or scrape will not make a marked change to their vehicles, and they capitalize on that knowledge big time.

When I find myself being drawn into a scrap with representatives of this group, I tell myself that the person is just looking for who to drag down to his/her level…#NotEveryTimeYetyneWins…life na jeje.o.

Team ‘Blonde’
Driving didn’t come naturally to me. My folks had quite a few moments where they tore their hair out, wondering if I would ever master the art of driving. It didn’t help matters that I had a younger sibling who was a proficient driver for +5years at the time, thankfully time makes most things better (my driving inclusive). The usual suspects in this group are the ‘Learners’. However we’ve all had our silly moment(s) behind the steering wheel e.g. when trying to locate an address for the first time, not paying attention while lost in thought etc.

Nowadays when I feel the urge to increase the speed of my car or put a troublesome driver in his place, a phrase my Dad used to tell me anytime I came home with a newly acquired dent/scratch comes to mind, it goes thus, “My dear *inserts name*, the person who gets to his destination safely and without any incident is the person who can drive”. So let us put aside the impatience, the need to get even, the sharp moves/stunts, and most importantly do not drive under the influence. We owe it to ourselves to make our roads safe and drama free.

So, what type of driver are you, do you agree or disagree with the group profiling above, what other groups should be added? Let’s share.

Photo Credit: Dreamstime | Ian Allenden

35 Comments

  1. ChiChiChilolo

    August 20, 2015 at 10:27 am

    Hmmmmn! It is well oooo.

  2. Tkum

    August 20, 2015 at 10:32 am

    no time oo….for this lagos….Proudly team R E S P E C T and team ‘Sharp Boy’.

  3. Ocean Beauty

    August 20, 2015 at 10:35 am

    Cheers to moi, the grand patron on Team RESPECT. I stand for “I’d rather scratch my car than let you chance me”.
    The most annoying people are those who refuse to stay in queue especially when using the “e-tag” lane at the lekki toll. For me to allow you in front of me requires prayer and fasting except you beg and I am in the best of moods.
    You forgot to mention elderly women (especially from mid 50s upwards) it takes the grace of God to drive behind them.
    One of my prayer requests in church was for God to give me patience behind the wheels and so far so good, God has answered me and He is still answering me. As I didnt really know who exactly I was when I take on the wheels.
    It can only get better sha

    • Ephi

      August 20, 2015 at 11:42 am

      Your whole comment got me laughing!
      Lagos driving truly takes the grace of God.

    • Omolola

      August 20, 2015 at 2:51 pm

      lol! You got this right! This is so me. I did not know myself till i started driving. The things that pop out (Lord forgive me) when I get angry ehn . My sister says am a bully ,I honk a lot..,.no wait..i derive pleasure in it .Crazy drivers everywhere.Driving in lagos is a true test …..

  4. cookie

    August 20, 2015 at 11:10 am

    Team ‘Prim and Proper’- the good guys all the way! you enjoy the ride better. Also, you are conscious of your surrounding as you drive. It helps you to take a minute to stop for pedestrians and reversing cars knowing how difficult it is for Lagosians to let them through.

    Team ‘R.E.S.P.E.C.T’ that is one team i don’t like one bit! they drive like they own the road! they irritates the hell out of me!!

  5. ada mbano

    August 20, 2015 at 11:20 am

    lmao!!! Its almost like this writer’s in my head yo! Every time i get on the road, there’s always a story to tell. When i’m not driving, i like to observe other motorists and i always find them super amusing! Yetyne captured all the types of drivers there are tbh, I’d however like to add ‘pedestrians’ to the list. You stop your car (EVEN WHEN ITS NOT A PEDESTRIAN CROSSING) and then they slowly and purposefully take their time to cross the road, almost daring you to move your car and hit them! THE WORST!!!! Looool! Or wait for it, you allow one car in front of you and then boom, before you know it, there are 6 cars in front of you. The worst type of people are those who don’t allow cars in front of them even after you just allowed them in front of you! Sigh!

    • Ready

      August 24, 2015 at 4:17 pm

      See, I’m torn about letting cars in front of me after somebody allows me. I usually want to pay it forward but I wonder if the person behind me is thinking “see this yeye person that has become alaanu ara Samaria after I allowed you in”.

  6. Anon

    August 20, 2015 at 11:29 am

    There’s the saying that if you can drive in Lagos you can drive anywhere else in the world.

    I started off as Team ‘R.E.S.P.E.C.T’ then moved away from Lagos and became Team ‘Prim and Proper.’ Now I am “Team I will not drive but be driven in Lagos.”

    Honking alone gives me palpitations!

  7. Dr. N

    August 20, 2015 at 11:35 am

    One day, a man pulled out from behind me in traffic, deliberately brushed past my car with his and maneuvered his way to the front . This was after honking for long as if we were not at a traffic light. I couldn’t believe it. It was like fast and furious or some other movie. I got down and inspected my car, the damage was minimal. Then I considered leaving my baby in the back to go and rave like a lunatic at him and decided against it.
    People, pick your battles wisely. Yes, he felt like a champion but I went home excited that I overcame my #Igbogalsdonttakerubbish emotions and walked away. If they kidnapped my baby while I was throwing a tantrum I would be on BN asking people to help me look for him.
    #Icantshout.
    So, avoid the crazies. Team Respect but also team Prim and Proper

    • Oyindee

      August 20, 2015 at 12:08 pm

      Dr. N,your comment really cracked me up…weldone *Igbogalsdonttaakerubbish*,you should practice it often,at least to stay away from Blood pressure issues,lol,trust me Lagos drivers can give you seizures…….

  8. kareema

    August 20, 2015 at 12:41 pm

    Proud Team RESPECT at times PRIM and PROPER

  9. kareema

    August 20, 2015 at 12:42 pm

    #Proudly

  10. Kech

    August 20, 2015 at 1:21 pm

    team RESPECT here. sometimes, I’m team PRIM and PROPER. Other times, when they’ve almost kiiled me, I become team SHARP BOY. Toh, they cannot kee me biko!

  11. Temi

    August 20, 2015 at 1:28 pm

    No such thing as trafficator. Its indicator. You indicate with your indicator.

    • Bee

      August 20, 2015 at 2:29 pm

      Leave that matter, this is Lagos English. We trafficate in Lagos.

    • Olu

      August 20, 2015 at 2:34 pm

      That’s according to you.

      We can call it whatever we want: indicator, trafficator, flasher, ya sihin ya sohun ………………..

    • SLA

      August 20, 2015 at 5:06 pm

      ya sihinn, ya sohun????..lmaooooooo

    • Tee

      August 20, 2015 at 9:29 pm

      Lmaoooo ??

    • hello from here...

      June 17, 2016 at 3:46 pm

      there is such a thing as trafficator Temi, it’s a blend of traffic+indicator, though it is no longer widely used compared to “indicator”. “trafficate” is the word that does not exist because you indicate with your trafficator/indicator.
      you are welcome.

  12. molarah

    August 20, 2015 at 2:24 pm

    Hahahahaha! Used to be Team RESPECT – I think I might have been the association’s secretary – but I’m cooling down now – glory be to Jesus. Like Dr N said, person gatta pick their battles in this life. Nice write-up.

  13. Libby

    August 20, 2015 at 2:38 pm

    Lol some of the comments cracked me up especially Dr.N’s . I didn’t learn to drive in naija and even now I can drive confidently I don’t think I would be brave enough to drive there lol so much to worry about. My dad is definitely team “prime and proper” while I tend to switch from team “prime and proper” to team RESPECT depending on my mood and level of urgency lol Because out here ain’t nobody got time for “sorry” and insurance don’t come cheap either especially for new drivers so “I garra respect mysef”.

  14. Claire

    August 20, 2015 at 3:01 pm

    Proudly team RESPECT.

  15. Blessedheart

    August 20, 2015 at 3:41 pm

    Team Prim and Proper. Gently cruising along enjoying my music till I get to wherever I’m going. Team Respect on moody days. Team Sharp Boy when there’s no choice.

  16. Doxa

    August 20, 2015 at 3:45 pm

    Team learner o, just about 2 weeks old driving on my own. If you like stay behind me and be honking your horn, na you sabi, my 40km – 60km per hour will not change. When you see the next lane is free, you berra switch.
    Sometimes I forget to use my trafficator/indicator, sometimes I use it when it’s not necessary. I have driven long distances with my hand-brake still up in error (please what are the disadvantages of doing that?).
    I believe that if you can drive in Lagos, then you can drive in any part of the world so I will make sure I learn how to drive properly in Lagos.
    Still trying not to turn my head when reversing, heard that of you do that during a driving test abroad they won’t give you a license.
    Still trying to decide whether to keep the L-sign on till the 3 months are over or get a driver’s licence and take it off. I don’t have anyone to sit beside me as I drive and I don’t have money to be giving all these officers.
    Advise a sister biko.

  17. "Dapo-x

    August 20, 2015 at 7:50 pm

    @Olu.Lmfaoooooooooo!!!!!!!! ………….i just resurrected from the death of laffing at ‘”Ya sihin ya sohun””……

  18. tutu

    August 20, 2015 at 11:05 pm

    Jeez!!! It used to be funny but its not anymore. Female drivers in Lagos never let people “chance” them. Like never! Its like we wanna prove something. Anyway, I’m in the happy go lucky profile. I could switch into anyone as occassion serves. I mostly just enjoy my time behind the wheels and I talk a lot while driving…even when i’m alone. 🙂

  19. bn lover

    August 21, 2015 at 8:13 am

    Talking of lagos driving ehhhh….the type of accident I saw at Allen roundabout…..that one was straight out of fast and furious. Boi,i don’t know wat happened…I can’t explain sef…all I saw was dis car on d lane heading to ikeja mall drive down wit so much speed ehh,he flew out of his lane into the other lane,taking two cars down wit him and d second car took another. O mehn,i no fit shout. Thank God nobody died ohhhh. Immediately,i cautioned my cabby…he was like madam I dey drive small small and I was like,u know yasef,u know other people?? Abeg look well well ohhh,i no get voice….

  20. Bennie

    August 21, 2015 at 9:13 am

    Am for team respect jare. Recently after having a team sharp boy put a hole in my fender with their long protruding back iron while trying to squeeze into an obviously small space. I was forced to put iron protectors to further save my car cos all the danfo man said was can’t u wait? And went back to his bus, I was alone very early in the morning and running late. Since then team sharp boy give me my space. Lagos driving is certainly not fr the faint hearted

  21. nnenna

    August 22, 2015 at 8:47 am

    I belong to team ‘Prim and Proper’, but am readily a member of team RESPECT when traffic is bad and some drivers are trying to play James Bond.

  22. shyfissy

    August 22, 2015 at 9:34 am

    Team prim and proper all day, everyday. I won’t allow someone to hit my car when all I will get is ‘sorry’ then I will have to go thru the stress of contacting my insurance company or fixing the damage if it is minimal! What annoys me more are those who behave as if they own the road…like WTH! Stop/turn indiscriminately, drive like they are cat walking on the runway…..

  23. Olanrewaju

    August 22, 2015 at 9:50 am

    Team prim and proper all the way. German machines will teach you.

  24. W B

    August 23, 2015 at 8:23 am

    Like personality types, I think most people are a combo of 2 or more driver-types. As for me, I’m team prim&proper + quicksilver + respect. I switch in that order depending on what road I’m on, my mood and where I’m going (I love speed, but I pride myself on generally being fair & I mostly want to have a nice time any & everywhere)

    That said, I think the honkers should get a class of theirs too. Some lagosians can honk for Africa!!! It’s like they missed out on owning a toy train I’m their childhood

    Ish!

  25. UZO

    August 24, 2015 at 12:39 pm

    “They switch lanes to the front of your car, without turning on their blinker” most Nigerians would argue that if you put on you blinker in traffic, forget it. no one would let you in front of them. they’ll just bone face and start moving bumper to bumper

  26. Ready

    August 24, 2015 at 4:09 pm

    Team QuickSilver and Team R.E.S.P.E.C.T. Respect me and basic driving principles, gahdammit. I don’t care if you’re a Marwa, kindly indicate before entering my lane. No, no be my papa build road. No, no be only me dey pay taxes., yes my English is plenty. But you not gon’ drive Lagos or Bini boy sharp things for me, and get scotfree. People like me are placed on the roads to make you a better person. You’re welcome.
    One time a guy created his own lane and sped through it only to end up by my side with expectations that I would let him in. Then he tapped my car and said “babe, no fall my hand”. After 2 hours in traffic, I was already detached from much of my compassion. I had 2 choices:
    1. Let him in and let down my team.
    2. Keep driving and damn the consequences.
    So I did the latter and ignored the scratching sound that lasted about 5 seconds. I just kept moving..
    That’s how bros parked and thought I would stop (it wasn’t a freeway, and there was Lagos traffic (TM). His friend came up to my window talking about “but you’re a lady” Firstly, what does that mean? So I said to him, does traffic respect gender?
    Next thing, bros engages me in a car chase o. It was the stuff of my dreams…I’ve always wanted to know how good of a James Bond I would be (no traffic at this point). Brethren, I’m a pretty good James Bond. Each time, he caught up, he would say “You think you will go scotfree, I will teach you) Eventually because I was worried about potentially hitting an okada guy, I parked in a gas station and sauntered up to him.
    Behold, it was a “sharp Bini” boy. He said that ehn, when the Israelites got to the Red Sea and couldn’t turn back, the sea had to part for them…that is to say I should have parted.Therefore, I had to learn a lesson and pay 6000 to fix his broken mirror. Lol, I kuku turned off my engine and sat on the boot of my car and exchanged stories from My Book of Bible Stories with him.
    Can you believe the story moved to “that’s how you people cheated Jonathan because he was quiet…you cannot cheat me because you’re driving a big car.
    LOOOL. To cut the long story short, like Jon Snow, I insisted I knew nothing of any damage to his car, and as such would pay nothing. I also learned I can star in Fast and Furious 8.

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