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Lagos is notorious for its traffic gridlock. There are so many cars on the roads from private cars, commercial buses (Danfo), taxis, the Keke NAPEP (tricycles) and motorcycles (Okada).
The traffic would have been more bearable but for the addition of impatient drivers and riders, impatient pedestrians. A combination of all these factors really makes the heavy Lagos traffic unbearable.
Sadly, a brief journey which shouldn’t last for long might end up taking you longer time to travel to and fro a destination within the city.
But one thing about traffic in Lagos is that it occurs especially at specific times of the day and it can be unpredictable.
So therefore, by observing the day-to-day flow of traffic, you can get to understand the best times to leave your location and get to your destination faster.
Here are few tips on how to survive the traffic in Lagos:
1. Make sure to leave home early: This is how the traffic has defined the life of many Lagosians. The routine is leave early and arrive late to avoid and survive the gridlock.
2. Always listen to traffic radio/programmes: The Lagos State Government on May 29, 2012 launched the Lagos Traffic Radio 96.1FM to give Lagosians situation report on traffic. It offers information on alternative routes and locations where the gridlock is worse. They work in conjunction with the Lagos State Road Maintenance Agency (LASMA) and it is a reliable platform to get traffic information.
3. Always wind up your car windows: This is a safety tip to ward-off ‘snatch and run’ thieves. Traffic jams are the perfect cover for a lot of pickpockets who pretend to be beggars, or street hawkers.
4. You don’t always need to drive: For those who have the luxury of BRT buses around where they reside, it is advisable that you take public transport as an option. You actually don’t have to drive every day of the week.
5. Have an insight on when and where traffic builds up: It is very important to have a little knowledge of the times of day and week when traffic is at its peak this would go a long way.
6. Monitor the traffic situation on social media: There are some Twitter handles that provide authentic traffic updates daily, follow them and monitor their tweets religiously. With these updates, you can map your routes.
7. Shake your head to the melodious tune of your music player: When you’re stuck in traffic, staring in space while waiting for the line of vehicles in front of you move forward, you can occupy your mind with music while you wait. Great music will soothe you and reduce the mental stress you go through in traffic.
In case you are stuck in the traffic, just relax. You’ll get home sooner or later. Anxiety or impatience won’t clear the roads or accelerate the vehicle.