By Ogunyemi Oluwaseyi
Driving as a profession or hobby or as a matter of necessity to move from one location to another requires top notch mental alertness. Other drivers or road users are akin to mad men who can do and undo. Hence, one must be wary of them.
Driving in Nigeria is a huge task especially in cities where lawlessness on the road is the order of the day, as well as driving under the influence of alcohol (Commercial vehicle drivers are the most guilty of this offence).
It is not unusual to see a driver take a sharp turn onto another road without communicating with other road users with the use of his direction pointer. It is also not unusual to hear other road users utter the word ‘IT MUST BE A WOMAN’ before cursing the driver of such car to high heavens at the top of their voice.
This brings me to a story about a man and his son traveling on the highway, halfway through the journey, a reckless driver nearly hit another car, in the heat of the moment, the man described how good he is at driving and how well he adheres to traffic rules, he then concluded to his son that the driver must be a woman.
After driving a few meters, the caught up with the reckless driver stuck in traffic and alas it was a man. The son questioned his father’s judgement and he replied that he must have been taught how to drive by his mother.
His son might eventually grow up with that mentality and the theory that women are poor drivers and he would pass down such to his own offspring.
In this battle of the sexes, are women really bad drivers? Or is it the society that has conditioned the female gender to be a poor decision maker when on the wheels.
Recently, an unconfirmed statistics on road accidents in Nigeria asserted that 40% of road accidents in Nigeria are caused by women, 30% by public buses, Lorries etc. and the other 30% by okada riders, and unlearned drivers who didn’t bother to go to driving school or learn codes meant for the road.
Highways in Nigeria is being ‘ruled’ by the ‘kings of the road’ notably tankers and Lorries which are driven by men save for a few women who are now joining their rank.
Intra state roads in major towns of Nigeria are also being populated by commercial bus drivers known as danfo who have their own way of turning the road into a Formula one (F1) circuit which Lewis Hamilton would definitely be proud of as they go beyond recommended speed limits and break every known traffic rule.
Furthermore, men tend to be competitive while on the wheels and this may probably be due to high testerone levels and a feeling of accomplishment by out racing other road users.
With the foregoing, I think women are cautious drivers, except for a few who have got a high level of adrenalin pumping in them. This however does not fully exonerate them as they indulge more in activities that may likely lead to accidents. Such acts include applying make-up while driving to make up for lost time, road rage and distractions by pets or kids in the car.
Conclusively, this is a battle that I feel cannot be won as both sexes have got high and low points. Men on their path are more daring and tend to take the wheels earlier than women but women seem to take driving lessons to heart and put everything learnt to use while men seem to make their own rules.
In a nutshell, men tend to go at high speed and women at low speed and may engage in activities that tend to distract them while on the wheels. Both acts by the sexes are recipe for disaster and as such make both GUILTY.
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