Monday, 10 January 2011
The fog arrives from Abu Dhabi
To most drivers, it's simple: Fog = I can't see = danger = slow down but Dubai drivers consider 'driving for the conditions' to be for wusses. The only acknowledgement of the dangerous road conditions will be that they'll have their hazard lights flashing constantly, other than that, and despite there being almost zero visibility, it'll be 'business as usual' out on the roads. Yes folks, they'll be changing lanes at high speed without indicators (indicators are optional extras on UAE cars it seems), the 4x4's will be using high beam to flash the cars in front to get out of the way, the angry Camrys will be tailgating an inch from your back bumper even if you're in the slow lane while the Nissan Sunnys with 20 passengers will be sitting in the middle lane of the freeway doing 60kph when the speed limit is 120.
Of course there's also the new favourite manouevre 'The Dance of Death'. This particularly Dubai piece of lethal lunacy occurs when a car, usually travelling at 120kph+, begins changing lanes without warning or indicating (see above) and despite there being (i) no gap in the traffic and (ii) a car beside them in the lane they want to move to. Ignoring the obvious presence of the other vehicle, the first driver will continue to move into the lane, sometimes the car doors come within inches of each other as the first driver attempts to monster the second driver into giving way. Usually for reasons of self preservation, the second driver will back off to make room and sometimes they themselves are forced to change lanes to make room for the first car but in heavy traffic there's often nowhere for the second car to go. This is when it gets really interesting. The first driver will veer back into his original lane if the second car gives him a blast with the horn or, as I saw on Al Khail last night, swerves towards him to 'push' him back into this own lane.
Take care, its a jungle out there.