One can never be too careful these days living, and trying to make a living here in the bustling colourful sometimes represented city of Kuala Lumpur. With the crime rate increasingly soaring as portrayed by the media, we are either taking a back sit watching everything and hope nothing happens to us and our loved ones, or take the steer and ensure we don’t run into anything nasty. You know in the end of the day, whatever happens should serve a reminder to ourselves. Never put security at risk in the name of convenience, ignorance and guarantee that everything will be alright.
I was on my way to work this morning. A black car was in front of me. I was not paying attention to it, just focused on getting through the next junction which is a tight corner especially when one is taking a right turn. There is a tall curb on the right, and a raised walkway on the left leaving little room for a car to turn conveniently. From a narrow lane where two standard sized cars squeeze and pass inches of each other’s side mirror into the tight corner is a the place to practise your maneuvering, patience and logic. You know how we lose our mind just because we thought there is no other way out ? Well, another car came straight in from our right and stopped so close to the car in front of me I could hardly see the gap in between them. Looks like the car just came from an accident scene. The front bumper was already ‘dislocated’, and I quickly noticed that the guy driver was not in a proper state of mind slash emotion. He had a depressed+drunk look, and at the same time a sly ‘don’t mess with me’ impression carved all over him. The driver clad in a cream shirt just stared at the car in front of him and showed no indication that he will be reversing his car to give way to the black car in front of him. He sure had a lot of road space behind him. But no, from what it looked, the lady driver had to manoeuvre through.
The next thing I knew, the guy just drove into the car ahead of me ! I do not want to exaggerate this. It was a soft thud. But loud enough for me to hear it clearly. I couldn’t see the lady’s expression, and I didn’t want to budge in. So I waited until there was enough room for my car pass through. Took the left junction and escaped the crazy guy. At the office parking, I saw the lady in front of me just now bending down to check her car. I asked if she’s okay and she said ya. Told her to be careful next time and avoid any possible confrontation with crazy drivers. We never know what danger we may unintendedly impose on ourselves and others. The last thing that lady (or myself) could have done is to step down from our cars there and then. But our instinct told us, big bold and clearly , ”NO”. So that explained why she was only checking her door panel at the office parking lot. It was safe.
A few tips to all lady drivers out there, please let’s together make the roads a safer and better place to drive. We need to get on our lives not being too independent on our guys (yes, we do need guys in our lives!) without compromising our safety. Road bullies and drivers from hell (no matter which gender they’re coming from) can easily take our vulnerability as an excuse for driving recklessly and dangerously, honking and swerving away. A smaller car, a meek and powerless looking women in hijab, or a sexy chick behind the wheels are not spared, in fact sometimes targeted. These bullies and drivers from hell does not learn from their mistakes. Their arrogance are fed through the series of reaction that they get from those they come across with. What do we do?
Get off from their way. The more we try to react, the more they are motivated to continue with their antiques. They touched your car? This is not the place for a super woman scene. We’re not filming a movie right now. While we try to be the responsible drivers on the roads lets try to be the a smarter driver too. Not smart as in ‘are you smarter than a 6th grader’ , rather, smart in the sense that you can reach your destination safely. Take the car registration if possible and make your way to the next police station. Below are some tips which I have gathered from my own experience and observation.
1. Lock your doors every time you enter the car.
2. Keep the cash bag away from the window or car seat.
3. Don’t carry too much cash or valuables with you at any one time.
4. Vary your travel route and time; especially those that you take on a daily basis i.e. to work, college etc.
5. Trash those car stickers and decorations which indicates that the car belongs to a Queen, Princess or a Miss Boss. You’re inviting trouble.
6. Laptop? If its work laptop and you don’t have a real reason to bring it back with you DAILY, leave it in the office. Own laptop? Be sure you have back up, and store them where its not visible. Do NOT ever leave the laptop in the car even for a few seconds. Things happen when LEAST expected
7. Making decisions. Quick and smart ones. This may be 7th in the list, but surely not 7th importance wise. Make sound decisions that will ensure you stay away from drivers from hell. If there is another way out from that tight junction, take the other way. You certainly do not want your car scratched just because your ego tells you to ‘make sure you win over the ‘guy’. Sane or not, the ‘guy’ has not enough balls to reverse his car to give way. That wasn’t his first intention anyway. So forget about ‘having to deal’ with crazy drivers. Just take the other exit.
8. Avoid as much possible to drive during peak hours or take the roads you KNOW will be congested. Plan your trips early and leave work on time! You’ve seen enough on the media and social networks of people helplessly witnessing ‘smash, grab and go’ motorists. The fish on single lady drivers who carelessly place their handbags on the car seat.. So…. either that, or keep that bag away somewhere safe !
9. If ever you encounter a dangerous out of your mind scenario, don’t challenge the other party. You’re better off playing wrestling with the ‘arm’ at the arcade. Its worth it. :p
10. Have your speed dials on but don’t expect help to come very soon. Being street smart comes in handy. Know your roads, and have that GPS/Waze on.
11. Don’t EVER leave your car until you reach a safe stopping area where there are people, or authority, to ensure the bullying and rages stop.
12. Your life and the lives of your passengers are more valuable. Fine that 14K love bangle gets snatched (erghh that hard earned bonus) – but you can’t exchange your lives with $$.
13. Get covered, of course ! Get yourself, and your family a road insurance and robbery insurance. It will save half of the worry if anything do actually happen to you or any of your family members.
14. Share your road safety tips with your friends, and family members. No harm even if you think your friends and colleagues have had enough from Facebook ! And also cultivate safety awareness to your children from young !