by Abdulmohsen Al Mayyas
I hate to admit it, but I have a chronic case of road rage. Just the mere idea of being on the road during rush hours is enough to ignite in me a severe case of Tourette’s. It could be hereditary, not sure, but regardless of who you are and what you do it’s safe to say that the road is the initial encounter of your day after leaving the safety and serenity of your own home.
As if getting to where you need to be in Kuwait isn’t already hard enough with a speed bump every 10 meters, thanks to the jerks out there who think it’s absolutely dandy to speed on inner roads. Not to mention random pot holes, pedestrians who “conveniently” walk on the streets instead of the sidewalk and then stare you down like you’re in their way, and my all time favorite (the winner of douchebag of the year) the guy in the pick up truck who assumes everything he does is perfectly okay, which includes stopping in the middle of the road side by side another sister truck blocking both lanes just to talk to his buddy.
For all of us civil, keen and decent drivers there’s an interesting small device called a mobile phone that doesn’t require holding up traffic for 20 minutes until you’re done screaming through your car window like an imbecile. Like I said, road rage. So instead of spending my mornings cursing every moving object on the road I decided to take a more productive approach and voice some concerns about certain characters and their despicable behavior on the streets that make my scorching hot mornings feel truly like hell.
The Fast and Furious Drivers
These are the most common and highly ranked members of the, well, club of characters I’m talking about. They exude special traits that make them ever so delightful. Aside from the fact that they operate primarily on a sperm mentality, trying to be ahead of everyone on the road like they’re racing for the same destination, when all we’re trying to do is get home safely. They’re the main cause of most accidents on the road. In an attempt to shave mere minutes off of their travel time they swerve in and out between other vehicles like they are being chased by death, only to stop casually at the next red light that can be seen from a hundred meters away. As if that’s not enough, they come with demands. They hold you hostage with their flashing headlights in the fast lane (that’s already packed) expecting you to clear the way even though there isn’t any room to change lanes. And once you kindly make an attempt to move over, they overtake you only to take an almost horizontal drift into the next exit. Sigh.
Safety Lane Drivers
Safety lanes were installed on the freeways to ensure, well, safety. They provide that extra lane for anyone that may have a flat tire or an engine problem so that they won’t cause a hazardous obstacle on the road. Unfortunately things have changed. Safety lanes now provide that extra driving space for those who wish to overtake an entire freeway of traffic. The thing is, the safety lane is usually not paved very well, with an abundance of a wonderful variety of pebbles, small stones and broken shards of glass. I’m willing, to a certain extent, to accept the fact that some of these drivers are idiots by nature and can’t tell the difference, but assume that they’ll feel the discomfort of driving in that lane and join us in the lane of sanity. That’s not the case though. Their theory… drive faster and the bumps will become smoother and you’ll overtake traffic twice as fast! The outcome is you end up with a high frequency of stones and pebbles being propelled at your windshield at 80 km/h like you’re in a high-speed battle in the middle of the Gaza strip.
Slowing Down to See an Accident
I’m going to dive right into this one. People, there is an abundance of accidents on the road. They happen every day. There’s nothing new or special about them. I would completely understand if the accident was caused by a meteor strike and people wanted to have a look, but when it’s on the other side of the road, there is absolutely no logical reason to slow down and check it out. If anything, you’re likely to cause another accident, and in the best case you just caused traffic on both sides of the road. Please, please, please, if you’re interested in seeing the details of someone else’s misfortune, just turn around at the next exit and join the traffic jam and observe. Because believe me when I say this, not all of us are as interested in adding half an hour to our daily route just so that you can take a peek. We do have better things to do.
It’s Okay, I Signaled
The laws of physics are hard to defy. If there is a solid object taking up a certain space and another solid object attempts to enter that same space, a collision is inevitable. With that said, why do drivers on the road assume it’s fine to swerve and abruptly cut you off. Their justification, “It’s okay, I signaled.” Listen, the signal lights were made to indicate the direction you wish to take, given there is adequate space on the road. They weren’t installed to give a free pass to everyone who forgot to take their exit that is 2 meters away and 3 lanes out. Combined with the people who choose to chill in your blind spot, it could turn ugly and even deadly. And believe me when I say, I probably won’t feel as bad for them.
This is the guy who spends a good amount of his life on the road harassing women and trying to get their numbers. Dude, nobody likes you. As much as you think you’re a player, your excess of self-confidence seems to be out of place. As interested as you think all the ladies are in your gelled hair, loud music and bad boy look we would appreciate it if you didn’t hold up an entire lane of traffic as far back as the Saudi border just so you can convince a girl to give you a call. I think I speak for everyone when I say that there’s nothing impressive about being a jerk. We shouldn’t have to wait for you to finish your poor and sad attempts at scoring so we can get to our dinner arrangements.
At the end of it all I recommend that the traffic department take a serious approach, to start implementing IQ tests as a part of the drivers’ license procedure. This way anyone who falls under a certain IQ will be denied access to driving on the roads and putting other people’s lives in jeopardy. Or we can understand the fact that the human race has been around for almost 200,000 years on this planet and that we’ve come a long way developing in many shapes and forms, and that perhaps we should start acting accordingly.
by Abdulmohsen Al Mayyas