Every person witnesses the same thing on the road, and yet, every single one reacts differently. Some throw curses, while others choose that the honk should do the speaking for them. A few others decide to be even more eccentric and think that getting out of their cars and throwing a few fists is a relatively peaceful option. We also witness some people who call the cops to come and sort it all.
Related: Understanding Phantom Traffic Jams
If an incident on the road has struck a nerve that left you wondering how to be civilized on roads, well, for a start, you can:
Always Obey the Rules
It is a shame that this is where most drivers in Pakistan mess up. Behaviors like cutting, driving in the wrong direction, speeding, and inconsiderate parking, are a bizarre blend of conformity and recklessness. Moreover, most people, upon making a mistake on the road, instead of being civilized, consider it as an insult to apologize and own up to it. And the same people, when introduced to the rules abroad, obey every one of them, a somewhat hypocritical feat.
If you yearn to be civilized on roads, you ought to be considerate of your surroundings. This point would include lowering your speed in the school zone, making way for ambulances or fire trucks, and not honking near hospitals. Also, make way for others, be wary of your surroundings, and don’t swerve suddenly. And the takeaway? Be vigilant.
Never Multitask While Driving
This fact could be the essential virtue of being civilized on the road. Under no circumstances should you ever drive under the influence of any substance. This can not only land you in jail, but it highly risks the lives of those on the streets and yourself. Additionally, don’t drive if you are overly exhausted.
Maintain Your Vehicle
To be civilized on the road is a responsibility that everyone should carry. Your car is your responsibility, so before setting out on the road, you need to check certain things like:
- Is your headlight beam too high?
- Is your horn too loud?
- Are your mirrors well adjusted?
- Is your car emitting too much smoke?
- Are your signal lights working?
Keep Your Cool
Road rage is something you should avoid entirely. It is pretty common to feel overwhelmed when something happens. The fact is, many people are looking for a fight, so if the driver pulls his car in front of you, do not get out of your car. Especially if it is the other person’s mistake, keep your head.
If you have to, let the police know (especially if it is a drunk driver, etc.). The rage might be justified, and your patience might be evaporating by the second, but hold your moral compass. Please do not stare at him through your rear mirror and start creating a scene. Talk it out, let them know their mistake. If it’s yours, then apologize, and compensate if you have to.
Always Be Responsible
The most crucial classic, which is surprisingly also, the most ignored. Don’t over speed, don’t take off your seatbelt, don’t use your phone while driving, and don’t change lanes even when no one is watching. If you only follow the rules and etiquette when someone is watching or when there is a cop around the alley, it’s all in vain.
It’s not like we have a “how to be civilized on roads 101,” but as humans, naturally, we all know the basics of being responsible and respectful, yet most of us choose to neglect them. For this, we have a “lack of awareness” to blame, which has expectedly resulted in some animalistic showcases of temper on roads. However, these are, by no means, unavoidable if we keep in our minds as well as remind others of the above points.
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