Upon closer examination of the current traffic jams, collisions and other road-related problems in Harare, it becomes evident that a sheer lack of patience often causes these issues.
There is often some failure by parties involved, whether by mistake or desire, to wait for another moment, another person or the right time before proceeding.
It is therefore crucial to regularly remind and educate our drivers and other road users about the importance of exercising patience on the roads.
This article aims to highlight the impact of impatience, emphasise the benefits of patience and advocate for the need to cultivate a safer and more considerate driving culture.
Impatience behind the wheel is a significant cause of accidents.
Recent studies by the World Health Organisation (WHO) indicate that over 30 percent of reported accidents can be attributed to reckless driving resulting from impatience.
When drivers are impatient, they engage in aggressive acts such as speeding, tailgating and disregarding traffic signals, putting themselves and others at risk.
In Harare, drivers have also developed a tendency to create third lanes and encroach into oncoming lanes as a means to bypass traffic congestion.
However, these actions not only violate the law but also pose a significant threat to the safety of other road users.
On the other hand, exercising patience significantly enhances road safety.
Patient drivers are more likely to follow traffic rules, maintain appropriate speeds and yield the right of way when necessary.
By adopting a patient mindset, drivers can make better decisions, anticipate potential hazards and react calmly to unexpected situations, reducing the chances of accidents and promoting a safer driving environment for all.
The benefits of patience on the roads are numerous.
Patience has been proven to reduce the occurrence of accidents by curbing aggressive driving.
It also improves traffic flow by minimising congestion and reducing stress for all road users.
Additionally, patience positively impacts drivers’ mental well-being, reducing stress, frustration and anxiety, making their journeys more enjoyable and peaceful.
Furthermore, patience fosters a more considerate and cooperative driving culture, setting a positive example for others and creating a safer and more harmonious driving environment.
There is no valid justification for impatience on the road.
Being late or having an urgent matter does not justify risking lives or causing harm.
Road safety should always take precedence over personal schedules and emergencies.
Instead of using the current high volumes of traffic in Harare as an excuse for impatience, we should view it as an opportunity to cultivate more patience.
It is essential to recognise that road space belongs to everyone and every road user deserves uninterrupted right of way.
Encountering poor road conditions or malfunctioning traffic lights should also serve as a catalyst for exercising even greater patience.
Any amount of impatience in such situations would only lead to more chaos and potential accidents.
In conclusion, road safety and sanity are achievable feats in Harare, just like anywhere else, only if, among other things, we cultivate a responsible and patient driving culture.
It is high time that our drivers prioritise patience as a fundamental virtue.
By exercising patience on our city highways and byways, we can help reduce accidents, improve traffic flow, enhance our own mental well-being and contribute to a safer and more positive driving culture.