Applying Psychology To Minimise Road Accidents

car-crashI Sat in a “tro tro” yesterday, and I observed in awe how passengers rained insults on the driver and his mate. Some spoke to the mate anyhow, just because the mate had delayed in giving them their change.

As I observed the incident, I wondered whether such people knew that their lives were in the hands of the driver and his mate.
There have been complaints about the high rate of accidents in this country.

Apparently most of the accidents are caused by ourselves. If we were to go into a lot of accidents that occur on our roads, we will find out that behind the obvious reasons are some psychological ones. And the serious thing is that the psychological ones trigger the known causes of accidents.

The variability in drivers in terms of their age, personality and temperament demand that we become very cautious of our speech when talking to drivers or their mates.

My three-year study of psychology has taught me that anger, depression and anxiety can sometimes be triggered by words.
For example, a dominant sanguine driver may become very agitated if you abuse him verbally. He may want to retaliate, thus, losing focus and leading to accidents. A phlegmatic driver may choose not to retaliate, but the abusive words may trigger some repressed unconscious thoughts. This might lead the driver into thinking, as all those thoughts might  flood into his or her mind. He may lose focus and the consequences are obvious.

Also, an already depressed person may be your driver. Since we are not God to be able to detect whether a person is psychologically sound or not, I will advice that we choose our words carefully when talking to drivers. This is because the little salt you add to the injury (depression) will lead to your own doom. If you are not fortunate, you might not even survive to say “sorry” to the driver.

Also, spouses of drivers must be careful with the way they speak to their husbands before they leave for work. Know that the lives of hundreds of people are in his hands, thus, the words you utter to him will decide whether he will come back to you after work, or whether you will go and visit him at the hospital or at the mortuary.

And one important thing to note is,  the effects of the words you uttered might not have immediate effect but future effects; some might even be long lasting. For example, drivers with low self-esteem may become more dampened in spirit if you rain verbal abuses on them.
The driver might not retaliate, but will later go ahead and abuse others.

I know this article has got you thinking. Some of you may be wondering the number of people you have already killed with your  words. It is not too late to do the right thing. You can start now. No matter how provoked you are, for the safety of your life, ignore that annoying mate and the driver. Use words such as “please”, “kindly” etc when speaking to them.

The fact that they are drivers and mates in some rags doesn’t mean they do not have feelings, or we can disrespect them, they are a very important part of our livelihood.

Have you ever wondered what the world will be like, without them? Words are very powerful. They can kill, therefore, be mindful of your words. – Gloria Ofosua

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