Thursday, January 6, 2011

ABUJA DRIVERS? LOONYS?

SHOUT out to Michelin, I enter my car nowadays and I feel like I can drive to China. It moves so smoothly and the new body work just makes it a major delight. So you can imagine my utter annoyance when a lunatic (aren’t all Abuja drivers) almost scratched my new paint job. I will not lie, it was partly my fault. It was late, the roads are usually clear and I had right of way, well until the other car decided he had right of way too, luckily my brakes are superb, pheeew. 

Abuja makes you do that, this is really no excuse, but Abuja make you drive like a loon. The way this town was planned, they got the road network spot on. The roads are more connected than an Abuja bigz girlz (pardon my lame attempt at a joke) but you get the point. Driving here is a delight, even with the recent steady build up of traffic, it’s still an organized traffic. The down side though is the accidents, they are usually not minor. 

If you have ever been in or witnessed an accident in Abuja, I can tell you that it’s usually messy. Blame it on drunk driving, over speeding, faulty brakes or general refusal to obey traffic rules because ‘do we know who your father is?’ but it always seem like people get into their cars and are suddenly in a rush. It’s funny that in Abuja you can get to anywhere right on time. my Friend Mej jokes that ‘in Abuja, everywhere is a walking distance, if you have got the time’.

So! If you live in Abuja or are visiting, here’s a tip. The most accident prone road in the whole city is Ahmadu Bello Way. No it is not jinxed, it’s just that it has quite a stretch that starts around the newly commissioned Gwarimpa road and ends around Apo(see what I mean). It takes you past wuse 2, central area, past Garki and then up to Apo. Several major junctions where this accidents happen but Aminu Kano junction(beside assorted) and Adetokumbo Ademola(beside diamond bank) are the ones to watch out for. The Road Safety has taken major steps to keep this junctions accident free, but at night when the wardens are gone, the roads are free and there is a little alcohol in the system, major damage is done.

I am not traffic expert, just a city crawler who cares, so this is my 2 cents. Make sure your car in very good shape, don’t over speed, don’t jump the traffic light, slowdown at junctions major or minor and finally if you see my drive by ‘hola at your girl’.

Happy New Year.

5 comments:

  1. I agree.....the junctions on the long stretch from wuse 2 to apo are dangerous! All drivers have to be alert for themselves and the other driver!!

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  2. Vicenzo WhenDeyBardJanuary 6, 2011 at 12:52 AM

    I think the most dangerous junction on the Ahmadu Bello Way stretch is the Thisday Dome/Benue Plaza, Nexim Bank/Galaxy Backbone junction. Stay safe and drink responsibly people...

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  3. nice write up. you were spot on. had a terrible accident about 3 months back. as u observed, it was not my fault. is it ever? well it was not. i was just driving out for some fun, so i was not drunk (yet). the driver drove right in my path, i avoided him (or her). who knows sef? i drove right through the curb. airbags, alarms and seat belt went off one way or the other. thank God i was wearing my belts. you did not put that in your advice / warnings. PLEASE ALWAYS WEAR YOUR SEAT BELTS. the culprit simply made a u-turn and was gone with the night. That's another thing, abuja drivers are dishonest, mean and heartless. he could have left me for dead.

    talking about road safety, what are they doing about enforcing driving school requirements? this is the only country where u can get ur drivers license while seated in your office. more of an identification tool. the state of origin and issuance are immediate suspect. imagine getting a license issued in Taraba when u applied in Abuja. Boy, i love this country.

    anyways, nice write up. i would remember to holla when i see you drive by. now that's a bad request since i would have to honk my horn and u sure have to honk bad. bad practice i am sure u know. well, welcome to Naija.

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  4. Yea Vicenzo, very very true about that Junction, have witnessed or just passed by at least 7 accidents at that junction.. At some point I started to look at for them.. Lol.. Made me extra careful when crossing, either in a taxi, driving or been driven by a friend.. Driving in Abuja comes like a disease I think..

    And about the drivers license, had mine issued in Zamfara while I was in Kano one time and another Gombe while in Lagos from the comfort of my home.. Very sad, but then to be honest it makes life in Nigeria easier for a whole lot of us.. Just saying :)

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  5. u r so right.i have noticed alot of accidents in ade... adetokunbo.its saddenung depite d plenty speed bump.we jst pray no taxi driver make us see accidents

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