I got my license in July 2015. I failed twice and luckily passed on the third try. I incurred about 6 speeding tickets in the first few months of my driving, I got more in the months that passed and now I’m trying to be the most behaved driver there is.
Driving in Dubai or in the UAE is actually not that difficult as others perceive it to be. If you have driven a car in the Philippines or in India, that’s chaotic. There are people nonchalantly walking on the road, everyone’s blowing their horn, there are people who counter flow and there are traffic enforcers adding to the traffic. And if you have ever survived driving there and have never incurred a scratch or bump in your car, you can definitely drive anywhere. Driving in Dubai is much better, all you need is a lot of patience, defensive driving skills and high tolerance for bad drivers.
I used to get upset when a car in front of me is not using the indicator when changing lanes or when a car in front of me is driving very slowly. My point is, if you like to cruise and not hurry up, you can stay in the rightmost lane. You should not stay in the fast lane and drive like it’s your first time. Also, I used to get mad when I’m in the fast lane and the car behind me would not stop flashing his lights trying to bully me when it’s physically impossible for me to go faster as there are also cars in front. But those were the days, one year of driving here taught me how to be the best driver ever.
My car is old school so I don’t have a bluetooth player or even a USB port. I just rely on my trusty AUX cable and I probably am the only one who still burns songs in a CD. So what do I do to enjoy my everyday commute? Carpool Karaoke. Well, technically it’s not carpool as I’m alone most times but you get the point. I usually pick songs from my library and create a playlist for every mood I’m in. Sometimes, I have slow jams, easy listening, pop, alternative and even old school r&b. This helps me big time in maintaining my cool when driving. Singing at the top of your lungs helps according to this website.
Aside from singing, I just always remember to do the following.
1. Breathe deeply. Inhale then exhale. When I get upset with someone on the road, my initial reaction is to chase them and just give the look. When I do this, my heart beats faster and my blood pressure just goes up because of anger. But now, I just breathe deeply. I do it a few times until I’m calm again.
2. Think of the consequence. If a car wants to change lane and did not indicate and you did not give way, what will happen? There’s a tendency that he might hit you or you might him. If that happens, you’ll have to file for a police report, call the insurance company, you’ll be late to wherever you’re going and probably a few more inconveniences. All this merely because you didn’t give way for 2 seconds.
3. Do not speed. Yes, we all like the need for speed. It’s an adrenaline rush, it’s a good feeling but when you get fined, it’s not worth it.
4. Concentrate and avoid distractions. Sure it’s nice to check out your Facebook and Instagram once in a while when it’s traffic but trust me, you have to concentrate on the road. I once jumped a red light because I thought it was my turn and then I realised the cars behind me were not moving.
5. Enjoy the ride. I used to think that if I overtake this car and that car and the other car that I would get to my destination faster. I proved myself wrong so many times. A few minutes will not matter and you will just get tired. I do enjoy the ride nowadays when I look at the road and admire the nice cars passing around.
I am grateful I passed and I’m driving now. It’s one of those things that I was praying hard for last year. I just like driving. I like long drives when I can just listen to every word in a song and long drives help me think about life. I just hope more and more drivers learn how to drive properly, use indicators, don’t bully each other and just overall be nice. I myself am trying everyday because I realised there’s just no point in being a bad one. I don’t want to pay any more fine as owning a car is expensive as it is. 12 overspeeding tickets later, I think I’ve learned my lesson and now when you see me on the road, I’ll probably be the most chill driver out there just belting out songs and trying to look cool while at it.