Title Image: Roberts.com
If you have lived in Doha long enough (even for a day) you have most likely experienced road rage while driving on our free-for-all roads. When I say “free-for-all” I mean in terms of random construction popping up disrupting your usual routes, ridiculous traffic that makes you an hour late in getting to your final destination, random wild life wreaking havoc on the freeway, and of course the reckless drivers who make us literally fear for our lives.
Driving in Doha is literally like a survival of the fittest, the weakest drivers (tendency to be in smaller vehicles) are always the ones bullied by the bigger, more daunting SUVs or Landcruisers. With Ramadan around the corner, we want to encourage people to take a chill pill to control the road rage and think happy thoughts, as difficult as that might be. Here are a few helpful tips on driving, and some ways to cool your hot head:
As annoying as it is when someone is flashing his or her headlights behind you, don’t freak out and swerve recklessly out of the person’s way. That is dangerous in and of itself. Don’t get enraged and start wildly gesturing at the person either — chances are that you could get mistaken for showing the finger (you’d get in srs trouble). Just put on your indicator and calmly switch lanes. If you happen to make eye contact with the culprit, give them the widest smile you can — a little cheesin’ never hurt nobody!
Picture from: Happily Unmarried
There are certain types of drivers you should be aware of: the NASCAR wannabes, the phone addicts, and the regular, no-rule-breaking people. You definitely want to be part of the regular crowd. Nothing says bad mix more than when you see a NASCAR wannabe on their cellphone. Avoid those cars like they’re the plague. The left lane is like their marked territory so the middle lane is your safest bet — not too slow, not too fast. (PSA: Stay off your phones!)
Always be aware of trucks when driving in Doha, especially on roundabouts. The existence of roundabouts is harrowing as it is, but when you put trucks and roundabouts together, anything can happen (mostly bad). Truck drivers have this delightful fantasy that they’re actually motorcyclists and have a tendency to drive really close to other vehicles. Make sure to keep a good distance between yourself and trucks. If that’s difficult, then let them pass ahead of you — staying safe 101.
Patience is a virtue. As tempting as it is to follow rule-breakers, say if they climb their car on the curb and start driving on the sidewalk or if they use the service road as an additional lane, it’s not in your best interest or anyone else’s to do the same. Not to mention the heavy fines you’ll face if you get caught. Put on some good tunes and chill. If you’re late, you’re late.
The best way to channel your road rage is through Twitter. Not while you’re driving! Rather than chanelling it while you're on the road and spreading more rage, save it for when you’re parked and off the road, like these Doha residents:
And a tweet about a tiger on our highways earlier this year:
Happy driving, and stay safe!
What are your helpful driving tips and ways to stay calm on the roads? Comment below!