We have curated six tips for coexisting on Lagos roads to enable you to drive with okadas, kekes, and trucks on the road. Navigating driving can be challenging, especially while driving in the midst of other means of transportation. Keep these Whistle tips in mind and you will be just fine!
Okadas are known as motorcycles globally and are the rockstars of Nigeria’s roads, especially in Lagos. Because they are able to weave through traffic with finesse, they are the quickest mode of transportation you will find in Lagos. Here are some of the things drivers must bear in mind when driving around okada riders:
- Defensive Driving: Drivers must navigate around Okada riders with a keen awareness of their surroundings, anticipating surprise obstruction.
- Communication: Making hand signals and eye contact with Okada riders can go a long way in conveying your intentions to them. They are not necessarily paying attention to your signal light or ‘trafficator’ as we call it in Nigeria.
Kekes also called Keke Napeps, and tricycle globally, add their own exciting mix to the dynamics on Nigerian roads, particularly in Lagos. Most pedestrians use them to commute to and from short distances and many like them because they are more comfortable, can accommodate up to four people, and are more sheltered. You have to keep these are the back of your mind while driving with kekes in view:
- Patience Pays: Keke drivers aggressively maneuver in traffic because they believe they are smaller in size. They are impatient so if you are driving a vehicle and want to avoid collisions with them, you will need to exercise patience. Anticipate their sudden maneuvers and wait for them to leave.
- Consider Pedestrians: Kekes drive too fast and make it hard for pedestrians in areas without pedestrian bridges to cross the road. If you are ahead of a keke driver and notice pedestrians trying to cross, slow down and allow them to do so.
Big trucks are the behemoths of Nigerian roads and most roads worldwide. Business owners use them to transport goods across the city, the nation, and to other neighboring countries. Driving on the road alongside these trucks as a regular-sized vehicle can be tricky. Drivers have to be skilled and very aware. These are some of the things to consider:
- Blind Spots: It has been proven that big trucks have a larger blind spot than regular vehicles. This means that their chances of not seeing the car(s) behind or beside them are high. Drivers need to be extra vigilant and not assume that truck drivers are aware of them. Pressing your horn at a stretch and flashing your vehicle’s headlamp light multiple times informs them that you are there.
- Speed and Distance: Always maintain a safe distance from big trucks on the road. The ideal distance should be sufficient for two vehicles. This also applies to speed. If you notice an opportunity to move past the truck and get ahead, don’t just speed past. Signal properly and ensure that the truck driver is aware of you. These will keep you safe from any sudden movement the truck might make.
These six tips for coexisting on Lagos roads are in the hands of all road users. Understanding and acknowledging the presence of other road users on the road is necessary.
Remember to download Whistle. Report your daily commute experiences within Lagos to earn cash rewards, and most importantly, to bring sanity to Lagos roads.