Naturally, driving from one point to the other should be done in a relaxed mood – except in cases like driving to save a life, running from dangers or driving in harsh conditions. It is always an unfortunate revelation to see that a good number of drivers behave erratically when driving. They get aggressive all the time and tend to be in haste even when they are not meant to be. They believe they are the the only ones with the right of way. So they drive on two lanes at the same time, drive above the speed limit, refuse to give right of way for pedestrians trying to cross, curse out people, etc. These behaviours by some drivers are categorized as “Aggressive driving” and it is known not to be the best driving method.
According to Jennifer Barton’s article titled “9 Reasons driving can be a great way to De-Stress” on HuffingtonPost, she stated that driving can be both a stressor and a stress reliever – depending on the circumstances. So this piece will highlight the benefits that road users, especially drivers, stand to gain when driving under relaxed conditions.
According to the Federal Road Safety Corps 2016 Annual Report on driving, 3,848 (33.9%) crashes were caused by aggressive driving. In 2017, they recorded 4840 (44.1%) cases caused by aggressive driving, and in the year 2018, 5100 (51.7%) crashes were recorded.
Based on the statistics above, it was further revealed that excessive speeding – being the leading cause of crashes – has been on the rise over the years. It may probably persist, if not combated by all Nigerians.
Excessive speed and relaxed driving are like two parallel lines that can never meet. So it behoves on us to discourage excessive speeding anywhere and anytime we drive in order to avoid crashes. Relaxed driving should be adopted since it has proven, on many occasions, to give drivers ample time to react smartly and safely in case of a crash.
Reduction in wear and tear of a vehicle
Aggressive driving easily wears out your vehicle, especially when you bash other vehicles on the road. Driving aggressively means you regularly have to fix your vehicle parts. So the best way to extend the life of your vehicle, and avoid the regular fixing of its worn out and torn parts, is to drive carefully.
It relieves stress
Those who drive in relaxed circumstances don’t see driving as a form of work. Instead, they see it as a way to relax. But this can never be said of those who drive aggressively, since they are always on the edge. They view themselves as the only perfect drivers on the road and are never satisfied with others’ driving style. As a driver, if you notice you are always tired after driving, you may be the type that drives aggressively.
It helps avoid traffic congestion
Anyone who likes driving under relaxed circumstances will do everything possible to avoid traffic congestion. This can be done by driving on routes with less traffic pressure and traffic lights. Traffic can also be avoided by leaving very much earlier for your journey, as this would help eliminate any form of circumstances that would warrant excessive speed and aggressive driving.
Reduction in fuel consumption
Relaxed driving can be equated to eco-driving where vehicles are relieved of certain pressures like loads, passengers, improper tyre gauge and so on. A driver who wants to experience relaxed driving should put his or her vehicle in good shape by regular maintenance, and fixing parts that are not functioning. When all these are done regularly, its resultant effects majorly include reduced fuel consumption and the general cost of maintenance.
A relaxed motoring nation where drivers drive carefully and a serene environment – devoid of pressures, traffic infractions, aggressive driving, e.t.c – would definitely have healthier people who are ready and strong enough to contribute to the development of their family, immediate society and the nation at large.
Lastly, the Federal Road Safety Corps, on a number of occasions, has advocated for a relaxed type of driving in order to achieve the benefits above and many more not mentioned. These advocacies have taken different forms like visits to community leaders, political office holders, religious leaders and so on. Public enlightenment has also gone beyond the usual television and radio jingles to motor parks, religious institutions, schools, door to door enlightenment and inclusion of Road Safety in school curriculums.
All these are geared towards eradicating road crashes and creating a safe motoring environment in Nigeria. It now falls on the general public to key into these laudable initiatives because road safety is a ‘Shared Responsibility’.