Naijauto cannot shy away from the fact that security in traffic jams is one of the most common issues faced by most Nigerian car owners and drivers in their everyday commutes.
When we considered the overall increasing population of the country, it was no more difficult to understand why an average of over 5 million vehicles are recorded daily plying major roads and streets in Abuja and Lagos alone.
Unfortunately, as this population keeps increasing, the number of motorable routes in good condition keeps decreasing daily in major Nigerian cities.
It has been observed that during the early hours of 7-8am and evening hours of 4-8pm, the level of traffic jams increases on some of the good major roads leading to extra hours of driving that can sometimes fall between 1-3hours delay on the roads. Surprisingly, this has even become a norm in cities like Lagos being the city with the highest record of gridlocks daily.
However, these frequently occurring traffic jams has now become a tool leveraged by some unlawful citizens to carry out quick crimes thereby posing security threats to motorists and commuters daily. This is why we have researched and prepared the below top 5 tips to stay safe in Nigerian traffic jams.
In to stay safe anytime you find yourself in a typical Nigerian traffic jam, we advise that you keep in mind and adopt all of the below tips;
1. Keep your valuables completely out of reach
Many Nigerian drivers are now found of placing valuables such as iPads, shopping bags, money, laptops (or laptop bag), wallets, purses, smartphones and briefcases in security threatening places like the floor, dashboard or backseat of their vehicles.
Traffic jam occurrences in major Nigerian cities keeps growing daily due to the country’s increasing population
Keeping valuables at the plain sight in a car will only attract traffic thieves, it is much better you keep heavier valuable items in the boot of your car and lock it well. Put your smartphone in your pocket, purse or anywhere else hiding from plain sight of passersby.
2. Focus on driving. Do not talk with pedestrians
As much as it is a normal thing to have pedestrians going about their ways in traffic jams, you should bear in mind that not all of them have good intentions.
You should endeavour to always have all window glasses wind up and try as much as possible to avoid engaging in any form of conversation with pedestrians. Many of the traffic hoodlums tend to use conversations in distracting motorists and passengers before or while carrying out their operations.
Not all pedestrians and traffic hawkers have good intentions in Nigerian traffic jams!
They can even go the length of pretending to be beggars in order to get closer to you and open a casual conversation with you as people wouldn’t suspect them; they can grab your valuables or even point a gun at you whenever they get too closer.
>>> Recommended for you: Sensible ways to avoid police delays as a Lagos driver
3. Keep your vehicle locked at all times
It is no more a new thing to hear that traffic robbers can easily spot an unlocked vehicle door from distance. These unlawful citizens can leverage this opportunity to get closer to such a vehicle, force the door open and before you know what is going on, they would have robbed the passengers and driver or do away with valuables that might be lying on the back seats.
Traffic robbers can take advantage of unlocked vehicle doors to carry out their operations in traffic
To avoid such experiences as we described above; always make sure to lock all the doors of your car when you enter a Nigerian traffic jam. Most drivers usually make the mistake of forgetting to do this especially after dropping off a passenger.
Keep this in mind at all times!
4. Don’t just buy things anyhow in traffic
This tip might look ridiculous for some motorists especially those in Lagos. But take it or leave it, we strongly advise that you buy your snacks or bottled water before you hit a traffic jam “zone” to avoid the temptation of having to buy these things from traffic hawkers who could use this vulnerability to rob you big time.
You have to understand that in order to buy anything from a traffic hawker, you will be forced to roll down your car windows and have the seller com closer to you which is a great opportunity for the evildoers.
>>> Stay safe! Please check 6 ways to protect yourself from Nigerian traffic robbers
5. Your rear-view mirror can tell you more
Just as you can easily see what’s beside your car through the side mirrors, you need to also constantly check your car’s rear-view mirror as well because it's your best bet at seeing exactly whatever is going on at the rear part of your car. Adjusting and constantly observing through the rear-view mirror will help you stay alert and act swiftly to any security threat you notice at the back of your car.
Your rear-view mirror helps you stay alert of any possible security threat at the back of your car while in a traffic jam
You might consider some of the above top 5 tips for staying safe in a Nigerian traffic jam as relatively simple but we can promise you that they will improve your safety a lot if you keep them in mind.
>>> Found this post helpful? Check out our other safe driving tips.