By Prince Adeyemi Olalekan
- Hardly can one go through a copy of any Nigeria daily Newspaper without seeing a report of Road Traffic Crashes (RTC) on our road. RTC constitutes major causes of death and loss of properties in the country. Road traffic crashes have therefore assumed a social and health problem of our time and psychology is now concerned with the study of their causes and their prevention.
- In the earliest time in Nigeria, there are too many deaths and injuries resulting from motor vehicle crashes and has been accepted ignorantly as part of human destiny. And ill-informed road user portends a crash waiting to happen. Often with fatal consequences because of ignorance of road traffic regulations and laws resulting in the following attitudes by the road users (driver, passenger, and pedestrians).
Nigerian driving culture is nothing to write home about, as both the old and the young are entangled in the web of pervasive and indecorous habits, necessitated by the ever too busy, always in a hurried lifestyle. The inadequate network of road bad roads and infrastructural decay coupled with the willful violetum of traffic regulations by motorist have not only cost lives but huge economic and social losses. This column ex-ray and politer salutation to driver unethical conducts.
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- Psychology can be defined broadly as the study of the manner, which the mind functions and how it modulates human behavior. Social psychologist a practical expression of a state of the mind. In essences, any attempt to explain a disposition or an action without first attempting to understand the psychology by which the action is informed would arrive at a defective conclusion.
The psychology of the driver, his attitude, personality, and other factors are to be considered. The behavior before, during and after his arrest as a traffic offender is being determined by his level of education, his mental capacity, health, drunk driving, his political affiliation, level of drug usage before driving, socio-economic situation, religious and cultural background, location of arrest, perception about law enforcer, environmental factors, superstitious beliefs etc.
Drivers can be divided into two broad categories, the professional who drives as a vocation and draws resources there in to support himself and his dependant and the non-professional who may be engaged in another vocation but operates a motor vehicle as a necessary aspect of his daily activities. A wider range of disparity exists between the psychologies of these two classes of drivers.
- THE PROFESSIONAL DRIVERS
The professional drivers as means of substances. His action on the road is driven more from a profound attitude than momentary rationalization. This is because driving for him is a way of life, about which he has come to form.
Certain rigid dispositions which come into play as a different situation arises in the traffic environment. For this class of drivers, the adventure in driving has since ceased to exist.
Some of the rigid attitudes are:
- Monetary Consideration: in every professional driver there is that monetary consideration which renders time an article of trade, and every mechanical effect on the vehicle manageable.
- Professional drivers perceive time as the bane of their trade, there is always that tendency to conserve it. Thus professional drivers ignore the danger in excessive speed in the bid to gain more and make more trips to and from his chosen terminus. Thus, to him, is how to be efficient in his profession.
- Vehicle maintenance is never accorded its rightful place in the underlining of priorities, worn out tires and defective brakes are minor faults, a light defect is never given the minutes concern. After all, the vehicle is still fit for the roads, he thinks his money-connected and nonchalance’s has been responsible for a great number of crashes on our roads.
- Road crash immunity delusion syndrome (RCIDS): The average professional driver deludes himself that due to his long year in the profession he has mastered all the dangers of the roads.
(e) The self-fulfilling Prophecy: Laws are made on the assumption that people would continue to come up with defiant behavior. But, it is sometimes ironical how laws aggravate the level of crime. The punishments are stipulated for particular defiant behavior, people now ensure that they raise the level of defiance to compensate for the brunt of the punishment. This is a manner fulfills the assumption of the lawmakers that defiant behaviors would persist. For example, drivers’ increases the number of passengers to enable them pay the fine for overloading.
*Prince Adeyemi Olalekan is the CEO/Chief Instructor of Beta Confidence Driving School Ltd.