Driving home from work one evening I saw a car in the middle lane signalling to turn left and seeking an opportunity to move lanes. I slowed down a little to allow the car to move in front of me for us both to turn left. The car behind me hooted and then came alongside with the driver shaking his fist. The driver was angry that I safely let a car cross a lane!
Two surpises here. First, the car used the indicator before changing lanes and awaited a safe opportunity to do so; indicators seem to be wasted accessories to most Singapore car drivers. Second, the impatience of the following car endangered both himself and others and indicated a “road rage” that will surely lead to an accident one day. To be angry with someone being considerate on the road is truly astonishing.
Safe driving saves lives, saves time, reduces insurance cost and benefits the whole community. I beg Singaporeans to be patient and to use indicators and rear view mirrors when changing lanes.
Endangering the lives of children and others
Childrens’ car seats, booster seats and seat belts have been developed to help save lives. So many parents in Singapore allow their children to move about the car or sit on an adult’s lap without constraint. In an accident, even at low speed, these children will be hurled with huge force into the seats or dashboard of the car, into adults in the front, and even through the front windscreen to certain death. Why do parents do this? The death of a child is the most devastating thing a parent can go through and all because the child was not properly restrained. Imagine living knowing your child died because you were too lazy or lacked the authority to have your child properly restrained. I know; my sister died (in the days before rear seat belts) being hurled through the front screen from the back of the car following a tyre blow-out. My parents never recovered from the loss.
Motorcycles versus cars.
I have witnessed some terrible driving by motorists in Singapore. Lane drill and signalling are basic skills that seem to be almost universally lacking in this country. For a motorcyclist or bicyclist this bad driving becomes life threatening as cars change lane with abandon. BUT it is not only car drivers; two wheel drivers also need more awareness. The other day I was at traffic lights with a motorbike to my left. We were both in a lane to go straight on. The lights turned green and I pulled away. It was the motorcyclist’s lucky day as I pulled away gently. He turned right in front of me and missed my front bumper by inches. What was in his mind? Why would anyone risk death to cut in front of a car pulling away from the lights? Singaporean car and bike drivers should understand that accidents are devastating in human cost and increase the cost of motor insurance for us all. Safe drivers are worth insurance discounts as they save lives, protect property and enhance the driving experience for all.