Goodness me! Zimbabwe has terrible drivers. What a nightmare we had on our trip from Zvishavane to Harare on Monday.
We were reminded why mining companies insist that after 6pm drivers should not drive company cars or else they will be fired. They have done that for a reason.
In our case, it was not only getting dark but a number of factors conspired. Firstly tollgates were a nightmare with queues going for hundreds of meters and drivers shouting and honking. We spent nearly a third of our time on tollgates and it was raining heavily.
With that rain, one would expect drivers to at least reduce their speed or at the very least be cautious on the road but we discovered that if there is anything Ginimbi left for us, it is for people to live on the edge through reckless driving.
Someone tries to overtake 3 cars, it’s not visible, it’s raining and there is an oncoming vehicle. Such were the scenarios we faced. We noticed 7 near misses. On one of them it took a smart driver, again another Honda Fit to move off the road after an imminent head-on collision with a Mercedes Benz.
It makes you mad to actually realize that there are people who are not only endangering their lives but other people’s lives and the lives of good drivers on the road.
While the novel Coronavirus takes its toll on Zimbabwe, traffic and auto accidents have significantly declined. This makes it the ideal time to reflect on how impactful kindness could be on our highways.
Aggressive driving is an epidemic that kills thousands and is responsible for severe injuries to thousands more.
Our highway system is a ticking time bomb. Beyond this pandemic and the current crisis we find ourselves under, we are always angry behind the wheel. Some drivers get so angry at one another; they resort to fights and shootouts.
Driving should be enjoyable, not a time of anguish. Right now, there are enough people dying, maybe it’s time to be kind while we drive.
Maybe this is our turning point. Let the person switching lanes and cutting back too soon in. Let the driver where lanes merge in instead of trying to block him or her. Don’t follow so close to the car in front of you and almost all drivers are guilty of not following the highway code stipulations on this.
Let’s start a campaign to be more humane on our roads. The situation the world is currently in is a good reason to be kind. Next time you’re out driving, think about the difficult reality we’re living in.
Instead of causing more lives to be lost in fatal car accidents, bringing kindness to our roads could save countless lives.
We are experiencing one of the most trying times in the 21st century. The COVID-19 pandemic has killed hundreds in Zimbabwe and created economic and social strains and we risk losing more lives by taking along our frustration to the road.