Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Road Worrier

For those who are smiling, no I did not misspell worrier. What worries me on the road is the lack of discipline coupled with a total misunderstanding of the concept of "endangering traffic" and "average speed" within the driving community here. I am not going to discuss discipline or lack thereof here, whoever has used the roads here can attest to that.

Endangering traffic and average speed are coupled together. Endangering traffic is when one drives at a higher or lower speed than the prevailing average speed on the road. So the lil ole lady in Phoenix driving her 1969 Chevy Impala at 25 mph when every one is driving at 55 mph is actually endangering traffic just as the macho guy doing 75 mph.

The notion, that most drivers have here, is we own the road.

One finds the guy that drives at 120 kph on the second lane down Shaikh Zayed Road when everybody else is averaging 140 kph and then wandering why everybody is passing him on either side and giving him the evil eye. But what is worse are those who think they are F1 drivers on a speed track doing far more than 140 kph, head lights flashing, riding your bumper while you are having nightmares of what will happen if you have to brake for any reason.

It makes me wonder if these people have any idea of the consequences of their actions. Having a driver's license is like having a permit for a big ass projectile.

Safe driving people and God Bless


  1. Oussama:
    What a tremendously nice article. By the way I only smiled at the end.
    It seems that you haven't been in Amman or Cairo for so long to appreciate what you have of those big "whatever" projectiles. Your enemy in the street is identified.
    Here, you have all sorts of unpredictable enemies. If you are below or above average speed you have to keep looking around to overcome surprises. A person crossing, or coming out of no where, sometimes even a whole tribe is crossing the high way all of a sudden, and if you do not stop you will certainly have more than that evil look!!
    Driving here is an adventure, a risk taken every morning when no seat built will do, and no invention is made yet for protection.
    It is said that Jordanians are so generous people, they will let you go ahead in every thing, they will kill themselves for you and will respect you all the time, but when they are behind the steering wheel!
    Our notion is "No one can beat me, I am the winner!!"

  2. I prefer driving right in the middle, avoiding the slow cruisers in the fast lane, and the race car drivers in the slow lane, and most significantly, those who cross 4 lanes to exit at the last minute!

    You're right - it's not only excessive speed that endangering. I love the visual imagery of the little old lady in Phoenix :)

  3. Hi Oussama,

    I've seen some tremendous driving here in the Tri-state area, just outside of New York City. Most people are in a massive rush, to where, I have no idea.

    The more calm I've become the better I'm able to take the insane driving habits of many of my neighbors in stride. Thank goodness for meditation ;)

    Have a great day.



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