Driving is one of the indispensable skills that every continent of the Earth can’t do without for a day, the invention of vehicles has caused mighty evolution in the transportation sector globally. It’s important to know that driving is a skill(knowledge that has to be acquired and learned consciously) not ability (innate capabilities). Driving as important as it’s has its hazard, termed ‘ACCIDENT’ which has been statistically documented to claim at least 1.3millions of lives annually and injuring between 20-50 millions of people annually. To succeed in driving and to be a driver for a very long time especially in Nigerian below are the seven skills needed to be acquired and developed.
1. ABILITY TO CONCENTRATE
The ability to concentrate and stay at alert for a long time while driving is a great asset every Nigerian driver must possess. The ability to focus on the wheel and concentrate especially when many things are competing for your attention is a very difficult thing to do, but every driver should master the ability to focus to salvage their lives and the lives of the passengers as well. As a driver you must be quick to percieve and quick to respond to emergency but this is impossible if your mind and eyes which are the major controlling factors of a safe driving is many kilometers away from the present. Most accidents are caused by drivers taking their eyes off the road, taking hands off the wheel and taking the mind off driving. To achieve maximum concentration for a longer period of time you must be intentional about it and if it is difficult please consult your physician. Do not risk your life and the lives of your passengers because of the inability to focus.
Discipline is highly needed while driving, the ability to constrain and restrain yourself and your convenience. An example is, it takes discipline not to go through a wrong lane, known as one way when every other drivers are passing there and also to follow traffic rules and regulations. Many Nigerian drivers are indisciplined and that is one of the reasons for many unnecessary accidents causing loss of lives and properties. As a driver you should be able to constrain yourself not to drink while driving, or attempt to read messages while on highway. You should minimize the volume of your music to aid your focus and constrain yourself never to oveespeed. It all takes discipline which is achievable once you commit yourself to it.
3. BASIC MAINTENANCE AND KNOWLEDGE
Nigerian drivers should have some basic knowledge about the part and function of the vehicle in case of emergency. You should possess and have adequate knowledge of the safety skills which includes; keeping safe distance at least 2-3 seconds gap between vehicles, sticking to speed limits, checking blind spots while making a turn, changing lane and also pulling out of parking spot. You should have sufficient knowledge about the technical function of the major parts of your vehicle too, for example; how to adjust and use mirrors effectively, accurate maneuvering of your vehicle, how to change tyres, how to do basic manual check up and also adequate knowledge of the road signs and symbols.
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Patience is a rare virtue that is rarely found among Nigerian drivers and this is catastrophic because the lives of both the passengers and the driver and passenger are at stake. As a driver you must be patient enough to indicate appropriate navigation in your course of direction and most especially be ready to illustrate with your hands, allow pedestrians to move on zebra crossing. Much patience is needed during unfavorable weather conditions and bad roads complemented with portholes.
As a driver, you must always remember that driving is not a race and that evey road user you encounter has a different destination, because most drivers are always competing even while driving. Driving is a life or death affair that must be taken with caution, care and much patience.
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5.EMPATHY AND SELF RELIANCE
Nigerian drivers should always remember that the road is for the general public and it is not a private commodity. Therefore, you must adopt a defensive driving practice, the ability to navigate through any circumstances brought about by other road users by properly and strategically anticipating while driving. Also you must possess a sense of responsibility in your appearance (dressing) and your comportment (proficiency in driving), you must be able to accommodate even most difficult of all passengers, maintain a low level of aggressiveness and avoid nagging with other road users. This will make you an exceptional driver creating greater opportunities for you.
6. EXCELLENT COMMUNICATION SKILL
This skill is a rarely found among Nigerian drivers, even the profession has been generally associated with poor communication skill, as a driver you must make yourself distinct by improving on your communication skill with other road users, cut off abuses and cut away curse proclamation, but rather accommodate other road users, this on it own can distinguish you for massive opportunities because no organized company will hire a rude, slanderous and libelous driver.
7. PHYSICAL FITNESS/ DOGGEDNESS/ PHYSICAL ENDURANCE
Driving to long distances and for longer hours can be very demanding physically but thanks to modern technology that has lessen the stress to minimal level but all the same to be an effective driver, you need physical fitness, muscular flexibility, control and coordination, flexibility of joints movement, excellent vision and coordination. Actually, the physical health and well-being of the driver is very much important, he/she must be able to hold the body uprightly, maintain firm grip on steering wheel, exert pressure on pedal and most importantly he/she must be able to sit in a particular position for long hours.
To be a Nigerian driver is really tasking, the skills listed above must be acquired and developed by every driver to make driving less hazardous, comfortable and thus ensuring the security of lives and property. As you want to go for driving lessons, I hope you’re ready to do all these.