Driving in Nigeria can be an exciting and challenging experience, especially for beginners.
Driving or Owning a Car in Nigeria can be seen by public portrayal as someone who exudes class, who has money or that has everything in life going well for him or her.
To most people, it is seen as a convenience to own a car because you can go anywhere in your own comfort, not only that solves a lot of house chores that require you to leave your home without entering a vehicle with a law-breaking bus driver, buying petrol for your generator, taking your children to school, going to your workplace and so many more things made easy by just owning a car.
Nowadays, people are too eager to be on the road whilst putting themselves in danger by not properly learning how to drive a vehicle, they want to show off and grab public attention.
That is why in driving schools, an instructor will always tell you to “drive like you are the only sane person on the road” because you can never know what is going on in another person’s car, the person can be an amateur who faked his/her driver license or something might be wrong with the car.
As a beginner driver, it’s crucial to understand the rules of the road, especially in Nigeria, remember to stay focused, and be confident behind the wheel.
In this article, we’ll provide some tips and advice on how to drive for beginners in Nigeria.
Get a Professional Driving Instructor
One of the best ways to learn how to drive is to enrol in a driving school and get a professional driving instructor. A driving instructor will teach you the basics of driving, traffic rules and regulations, and how to handle different driving situations. They will also guide you through the process of obtaining a driver’s license.
This is the most important part of learning the art of driving, so many people skip this part either to avoid paying some amount of money or they just want to be on the road to escape the waiting time of becoming a driver in Nigeria.
I have had a personal experience of not adhering to this part of driving, for a while, I was told to learn how to drive for the comfort of other people and so I did, every day I drove around the street area, learning the art of accelerating, building a driver’s awareness, reverse parking and the rest, basically building confidence in myself.
Then on a sunny afternoon, I decided to take a big step in driving, I drove around an estate. I did quite well on the turns, brake on the speed bumps, and the usual stuff; but when it was time to park the car, I got distracted, I was not aware of my surroundings and I hit my neighbour’s pavement blocks (those blocks that surround the gutter to prevent someone or a car from falling into it).
Thankfully, I was going at a very low pace, it was nothing but a dent. This just shows why we need to follow the driving rules. If there was significant damage to my neighbour’s property, I might have been reported to authorities and the blame would have been on the owner of the vehicle for allowing an unlicensed driver to take the steering wheel.
Learn the Traffic Rules and Regulations
Before you start driving, it’s essential to understand the traffic rules and regulations in Nigeria. You should be familiar with road signs and markings, traffic signals, and speed limits. It’s also crucial to understand the consequences of breaking traffic rules and regulations, including fines, penalties, and even imprisonment in severe cases.
Start with an Automatic Transmission Vehicle
As a beginner driver, it’s advisable to start with an automatic transmission vehicle. Automatic transmission vehicles are easier to drive, as you don’t have to worry about shifting gears. It allows you to focus on the road and other drivers.
Practice in an Empty Parking Lot
Before you start driving on the road, you can practice in an empty parking lot. It will give you an opportunity to practice your steering, braking, and accelerating. You can also practice reversing and parking, which are very crucial in day to day activities of driving
Follow Traffic Rules and Regulations
Always obey traffic rules and regulations while driving. Stick to the speed limit and avoid overtaking on a single-lane road. Never drink and drive, and always wear your seatbelt. Also, be aware of road conditions, such as potholes, speed bumps, and sharp curves.
Finally, as a beginner driver, it’s essential to be confident behind the wheel. Practice as much as possible, and don’t be afraid to make mistakes. Remember, everyone starts as a beginner, and with practice, you’ll gain more confidence and become a better driver.
In conclusion, driving in Nigeria can be a thrilling experience, but it’s crucial to take it seriously and follow the rules of the road. With the right training and practice, you can become a safe and confident driver. Always remember to stay focused and alert while driving, obey traffic rules and regulations, and be confident behind the wheel.