Friday, October 07, 2011

Driving On Road : Glad You Are Alive Today?

I slammed on the brake on the uphill stretch this morning while going at 25mph all because a Teksi (taxi in my country Malaysia) decided to just zip out from a junction on the left. I was only about 30 feet away. Could have been a bad morning to start with an accident.
I gave the driver a long honk from my "soccer-mum" Korean made car.
He was oblivious and continued to drive away with a smirk on his face.
Heart pounding and with the feet still firmly on the brake pedal, I was glad that there was no car behind me else it will be a pile up.
And that was the sixth near-miss I had today while driving 8miles to work.
How many near misses you had today?
With technology advancement (read: faster cars) and the need for everything fast; Fast food. Fast internet. Fast songs. Fast services. Fast women. Fast death.
Since the invention of wheels and the first T-model by Ford, the revolution has never stopped that we had cars that went from 0-60 in 2 minutes to those that takes a mere 4 seconds to achieve the same. While having all that power is good if you have a freeway without speed limit, driving in a confined road with 50 vehicles within 50meters radius around you is not fun.
Drivers yakking on the phone. Messaging. Tweeting. Facebooking. Holding a sandwich on one hand while the other struggled to manipulate the gear stick. Reading newspaper.
Opps! Did I just saw someone mis-flicking his cigarette butt and it landed back inside his car? That got to be one hot seat he is in right then.
Driving changes human behaviour. It is a Jekyll and Hyde situation. They can be the most loving person but turned into a completely different persona once behind the wheels. They are rude. Obnoxious. Common courtesy is when they could not sing louder than their radio blasting out songs.
We have all fall into a situation where (I read) it is called Normalized Dysfunction. It is a situation where they go through the same thing every day, at the same time, at exactly the same location. They take it for granted that the same thing will happen every day. In short, driving blindfolded is possible. Ever noticed that you light up that cigarette at exactly the same location every day in the jam?
When normalized dysfunction kicks in, we become like the Teksi driver above. It’s ok to just drive out of junction without stopping; because someone else will stop for you.
When that someone else don’t stop for you, on the very bright side – you will get to fix up the car that you have been holding back to do and perhaps get a new paint job at the expense of the insurance company.
Never mind the hassle of the police report and the wait to get the car back – after all the attitude will not change. The mind-set won’t change. If it does, the road will be less exciting today.
There will not be any accidents to witness, no death to cry over, and no “I survived that crash” story to tell.
Today. I had six near misses. That’s already a better day compared to yesterday and the day before on Monday. I guess it’s a”normalized” thing that as the week goes on, people become less reckless. That is if they survived the weekend partying and DUI.
Give yourself a pat on the back for every day you survived the traffic and reward yourself with an ice cream for not causing misery in another person’s life.


  1. bro..

    kelmarin aku sudah kne.. stu teksi sudah hit aku.. keluar simpang langsung xtgk kiri kanan..

    KL.. if u not hit ppl.. ppl will hit u..

    -arman VI 95

  2. Bro - sorry to hear that. I hope you are ok. :( drive safe bro.

    Hope to catch u in one of the race! :)

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  4. P5 - :) Loud and clear. Be safe!