For most Nigerians, driving slower than most cars around you would get you labelled a ‘learner’ (a driver who is yet to fully grasp the dynamics of driving). This is, however, quite ironic as recent studies have shown that speeding has contributed to over 40% of road accidents. The question then becomes, it is safer to drive slower or faster than cars around you.
To tackle the question above, we will take a quick look at 10 crucial reasons you should drive slower; especially in a city like Lagos, which has high vehicular traffic. Below are 10 reasons you should drive slower:
One of the most efficient ways to save fuel when driving is to avoid speeding. When you drive less, you naturally get to save more fuel. The same applies to when you drive a car that is fuel efficient. However, if you cannot afford to opt for these two options, is to avoid excessive idling. Instead, your driving should involve more gradual accelerating and decelerating of the car. You also save more fuel when you drive slower as affirmed by car enthusiasts and professionals.
Petrol currently sells for N145 per litre in Nigeria while diesel sells for N225 per litre – You simply cannot afford to waste fuel by speeding. When you drive slower will get you to your destination without burning extra fuel.
Based on data and statistics, driving unnecessarily fast can get you killed. Did you know that when driving at 56km/h per hour is twice as likely to get someone you hit at 48km/h killed? The truth is that when you drive fast, you cut down your response time to something in your path. When it comes to driving, a fraction of a second can mark the difference between life and death.
When you drive slower, you are not just protecting your own life, you are also protecting the lives of people around you. When you find yourself driving around runners, cyclists, neighbourhoods with children on the streets and schools, strive to drive slower.
Save Your Precious Time
Do you know that while you might think that you are saving time by driving really fast? it is actually not so much time. It’s even worse to realise that the small amount of time that you actually get to save isn’t worth risking your life over.
If you know you need to get somewhere early, endeavour to get on the road a bit earlier and you would arrive at your destination at the same time as someone who sped all the way. One more thing – You’ll also be in a better mood than the other person.
Lower Your Stress Level/Enjoy Life
When you drive slower, your stress level will experience a significant drop. Driving can actually be a pleasant experience if you do not allow the need to get past other road users rob you of your peace of mind.
A sizeable number of Nigerians still struggle with road rage (sudden violent anger provoked in a motorist by the actions of another driver). You need to fight off the tendency to overtake slow drivers or scream at those trying to cut you off.
Enjoy Your Life a Bit More
Instead of focusing all your energy into your destination and why you need to be there early, let your mind and thoughts take in other things. Your life does not have to become a speeding blur because you need to get somewhere. If you keep driving fast, you risk going to the gas station too frequently.
You don’t have to rush through life when you can actually slow down and enjoy life some more. If you keep putting yourself in a situation where you have to rush, you deny yourself the opportunity to enjoy life and be happy. Remember that your life is whatever you make of it.
Avoid Getting into Difficult Situations
A good example of a difficult situation is trying to speed through a lane dedicated to BRT buses and running into traffic law enforcement officials while doing it. This is a difficult situation that you would have avoided all-together if you had made up your mind to drive slower or wait for the traffic to clear up.
You will realise that most times, you cannot control the traffic situation but you can control how you respond. In Lagos, officials of the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority flag down and impounded several vehicles that try to speed their way through lanes that are not dedicated to them. It would be anti-climatic to have your car impounded while you are speeding through wrong lanes. To avoid such difficult situations, it’s better to drive slower and keep things calm.
Damaging Your Car
When you drive fast, you increase the risk of getting your car damaged. Did you know that an increase in your driving speed by 1 km/h would typically trigger a 3% higher risk of a crash involving injury? Driving really fast also contributes to the severity of the impact if a collision does occur. Your ability to drive slower will help you cut down the chances of getting your car damaged.
Avoid Getting Into a Fight
How many times have you witnessed motorists park their cars in the middle of the road and engage in fist fights? This is a common scene in Lagos and as surprising as this might seem, speed plays a huge role.
In some cases, you might not have any original intention to fight but what happens if the other driver involved in the crash steps out his vehicle and lands you a slap and 6 fast punches at you? At some point, you will have to either defend yourself or retaliate. Save yourself this headache when you drive slower and reduce the risk of crossing the path of a violent driver.
Avoid Causing Major Traffic Congestion
In Lagos, it is a common scene to get to the point of the cause of a major traffic situation and find out that a driver who was speeding hit another car. In such situations, a growing number of drivers take the law into their hands, leave their cars right in the middle of the road and begin to shout and argue over who was wrong and who was right.
Speeding in itself will not create major traffic congestion but if you get involved in a crash or run into a ditch and severely damage the alignment of your car, your car breaks down and can easily become the source of a major traffic situation.
Avoid Getting Arrested
Officials of the Vehicle Inspection Office (VIO) and Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) do not take lightly to road accidents caused by speeding drivers. It’s important to know what the speed limit is. For instance, in Nigeria, the law imposes a maximum speed limit of 100 Km/hr for cars on any highway in Nigeria. Meanwhile, taxis and commercial buses within built-up areas like streets in towns, villages and cities are expected to maintain a speed limit of 50Km/hr.
If you flout this limit and get involved in an accident, you run the risk of having your car impounded. In a situation where your speeding results in the loss of other lives, the case becomes a criminal offence under alleged manslaughter. As expected, you will be handed over to the police for further prosecution by a court.
Avoid Getting Robbed
The last thing you want to experience is a speeding accident on a deserted road in a city like Lagos, especially at night. If you have a car crash during the daytime, you might be stranded but you would be safe. However, if you get carried away by the absence of traffic at odd hours of the day and decide to drive really fast, you need to avoid an accident. A crash at this time of the day would not only leave you stranded but also leave you prone to thieves and robbers who often pose as good Samaritans.
When driving at night; especially on an unfamiliar road, ensure you drive slower than you usually do. This does not mean you should drive at 20km/hr. Rather, you should maintain a reasonable that will leave you with sufficient response time in a situation where one arises.
Final Thoughts on Reasons to Drive Slower
If you are kind of person who gets bored when you drive slower, you can consider listening to music that appeals to you. It could be ‘Case’ by Teni, ‘Oyi’ by 2Baba and Hi Idibia or an energetic number like ‘Zanku’ by Zlatan. If you prefer classics, feel free to pick any song that you fancy and have a nice time.
The most important thing is to avoid being in a hurry to get to your destination. Being in a hurry could lead you to drive too fast. If you don’t have a car yet and you are open to the idea of a car loan, we can help you with that. Get started here!