While driving to work, at snails pace, through the endless traffic, I started thinking about why there is traffic. I mean, if the far left lane is merging with the middle lane, then surely the far right lane should still be moving?
Upon closer inspection though, I realized why, the idiots (I say idiots because they cannot seem to think further than the car in front of them and sometimes, even that is asking too much) will drive in the middle lane, ignoring the merging lane signs. As soon as they get to the point of merging they proceed to realize that there is a car next to them wanting to come into their lane. Upon realizing this they either think, “oh, let me move over” or “What the hell, I’m getting out of this lane”. They then push their way into the far right, where the normal folk, who noticed the merging lane two weeks ago when they first put it up, are queuing either patiently or not so patiently.
Now, to think, if these idiots didn’t do that and maybe planned ahead, or were patient enough to understand the concept of the one car, one car rule, then maybe traffic would just be a bit better. I figure that these idiots, and the ones that drive up yellow lanes or construction lanes, are the ones that moan the most about the traffic and yet they are the cause for most of it.
This all got me thinking further, why is it that South African roads are so dangerous? I mean, we’re not the only country with idiots, taxi’s and roadworks. I know we are a 3rd world country, with a 1st world road infrasructure (well in JHB, at least) but even in India, where there are people every where and cows in the roads, there aren’t even nearly as many accidents.
Is it arrogance? Or naivety? Would things be different if we didn’t expect the other people on the road to follow the rules? If we were constantly expecting the idiot to pull out in front of us, or the truck to come flying around the corner, or the women in front of us to break way too late?
Would being prepared help? To be honest, I really do think so. I think that being so unaware of our surroundings and by expecting everyone around us follow the rules, is what causes accidents. I don’t think we take enough responsibility. We blame that taxi, that truck or that asshole without thinking about what exactly we do on the roads. Or are you different? Where the rules don’t apply, because you know what you are doing.
Well I can tell you this, no one wants to get into an accident and that taxi, truck or asshole also thinks he knows what he is doing.