// Patrick Louis

Driving In Lebanon

Hello fellow readers,
This article is about driving in Lebanon.

I used to spend my whole day walking until I bought a car.

Walking was time consuming and tiresome. On the long run I got used to it and with my “wasted” time on transportation I read books, watched movies, and listened to podcasts.

I also had many adventures on my way.

I now still listen to podcasts in the car but I can’t read while driving.

somewhere

Let’s see if what my eccentric friend told me was true or not:

When you get a car you become a horrible person. You don’t care about others, you just want to pass through.

horrible

Let’s first deal with the aspect that is not related to driving habits.

Inside your car you are in a comfort zone. You start to ignore what is happening around you, you don’t even look at the mesmerizing mountain view anymore. You completely overlook the pedestrian and even direct anger and frustration at them. You, indeed, “just want to pass through”.

That truth hurts.

I’m constantly reminding myself of how I used to struggle to reach my destinations. I let people hitchhike with me when I’m on my way to the village. I try to give them the same push the great people I’ve met gave me. I hope to never forget or get influenced by others’ behavior.

memories

When driving daily you don’t meet nice people, on the contrary. You are faced with worse than having to walk two hours everyday, being all sweaty, suffocating in buses, and having to fight to get a fair price from taxi drivers.

The mob and anonymity feelings people get while driving create monsters of the road. Their self-esteem bursts out. They are not themselves, they are driven by their vehicle.

circles circles

Forcing ideas unto others never works, showing them and letting them learn does.

In this post I’m using a learning technique called explorable explanation. Let’s hope it contributes to someone’s life, let’s hope the children of tomorrow can learn.

Let’s stop the psychology and have fun listing the nasty habits that could kill us one day.


How To Drive For Others Guide###

  • Driving on the line

Explanation:

This pathological case is frequent. A large number of people drive with their cars aligned on the line, not between the lines but on the line itself. This is an imminent danger to those who drive “normally” as they are blocking half the road on both sides.

Test: (tap to play)

What Can I Do About It:
Honk at them.

  • Usage of lights

Explanation:

I’m not afraid of monsters at night, my horror stories are filled with other things such as people trying to blind me using their high headlights.

I’m not sure why they do so, aren’t those used in case of emergency. If people get used to bright light what are they gonna do in situations where they really need them. The answer is: go blind.

Aren’t they already blinding themselves everyday with the politicians on TV.

Test: (tap to play)

What Can I Do About It:
Unfortunately I have no answers.
Try not to die my friends.

  • Turn Signal Flashers

Explanation:

Turn Signals are used to notify the persons around you that you are going to turn, change direction, so that they don’t get the bad surprise at a late second and make an accident.

This concept is stranger to many drivers around us.

You are driving behind someone when suddenly, for no apparent reason, they brake. You brake too in panic! They then leave the highway without any signal.

Test: (tap to play)

What Can I Do About It:
Honk at them.

  • Cell Phones

Explanation:

A law has been placed to forbid the use of cellphones while driving, yet the addiction to mobile devices is strong. Because of their quest to social attention on computing devices the persons are becoming dangerous.

Test: (tap to play)

What Can I Do About It:
Honk at them even more.

  • Gas Consumption & Aggressive driving

Explanation:

Gasoline is costly.

When I started driving I didn’t know about the practices to avoid wasting gas. I listened to my father’s advices on the subject. Moreover, in my car I have a consumption meter which shows how much gas I’ll be consuming if I keep pressing on the pedal the way I’m currently pressing it.

One of the practices that uses the most gas is aggressive driving.

The Vrrrmmm that makes a lot of sound!

On the highway there’s a certain speed you reached (around 80Km/H) that let you drive consuming the least fuel possible. The car moves by itself.

Those aggressive and impatient drivers are not only wasting their money but are extremely dangerous.

Test: (tap to play)

What Can I Do About It:
Honk at them.

  • Road Signs

Explanation:

There’s simply no respect of signalisation. People drive the wrong way, drive above the speed limit, drive on red light. I’ve even seen more than once trucks getting stuck under bridges (4.85M) because they didn’t read the notice and had a vehicle higher than the bridge.

Test: (tap to play)

What Can I Do About It:
Honk at them.

  • Staying focused

Explanation:

It might also be a pathological case…
Some persons have neck problems - they can’t look on their side before changing lanes.

They can’t look before entering the highway either, on the contrary, they speed up.

They are focused on what’s happening in front of them, nothing else.

Appearances first, how do I look entering the highway.

Test: (tap to play)

What Can I Do About It:
Honk at them.

  • To Beyond

Explanation:

This is a special case by itself.
The vehicle morphs into a suicide missile, throwing itself at you, 125Km/H. So close it’s almost going to hit.
And suddenly it fires your eyes with its AK47 lighting set.

Begging to explode as soon as possible.

What’s the rush about?

Maybe they think they are the king of the road and that all loyal subjects should make place.

Even when the road is too narrow they want to cut you at all costs… And then they stop and park 80 meters later.

Test: (tap to play)

What Can I Do About It:
Don’t let them pass, if there’s no place, stay relaxed. You are in the right, the limit is 100Km/H.

Nothing’s wrong with fighting stupidity.

But by law, on the highway (at least 3 lanes), it’s preferable to leave the outermost lane (the passing lane) empty and only use it to overtake. The best solution would be to leave it empty however we rarely have 3 lanes and when we have people don’t use it only to overtake, they just drive normally on it.

We also have no police to deter dangerous behavior.

Here’s more.

  • Ant Theory

Explanation:

Traffic in Lebanon is anarchy.
People forget about the rules (as if), others, the lanes they were on, the circulation, and more importantly, common sense.

They act like lost animals looking for empty spots to fill. This goes on until the whole road is crammed with cars and no one can move anymore.

Just like in a funnel.

Ants are better at that, check it out

Test: (tap to play)

What Can I Do About It:
Stay on your lane and leave enough space in front of you.
It will make the traffic go faster. Think of it like a funnel, if the water only goes through the middle opening it’ll flow faster. As soon as other fluids come from the sides it get stuck.

It’ll certainly make the line longer but the traffic will be over instantly.

Also, don’t let others “drive on the line” when they get stuck in traffic.


This explains the number of car accidents we have.

Let’s show others we want a well ordered and respectful country. Respect because those behaviors are unrespectful. To be respected you have to respect.

There are many other things that need fixing but we have to start somewhere.
Let’s change this countrie’s mindset of impatient opportunistic exploitation.

Thanks for reading,
This was a bit what explorable explanation is like.
As usual if you like what I write about please buzz me and we’ll have a beer together someday.

Update 22-04-2016:

An article correlating driving habits and the overall situation in a country just came out, here’s the link to it.

And this kind of makes sense too, as roads are almost a perfect microcosm of what states do on a larger scale. On a road network, you have many different actors all behaving in a self-interested manner, trying to reach their own goals – and in order to manage this efficiently, there are rules in place to try to try and make the whole thing more efficient. If, for some reason, people decide not to follow these rules, then the whole thing breaks down – and the result is chaos.

Update 13-12-2016:

I thought why not linked to more articles:

kundhadi trying to save the lives of Lebanese 10 pieces of advice for driving in Lebanon
Driving in Lebanon - A Guide
Roadtripping Lebanon: It’s Grand Theft Auto!
Highway to Hell - Traffic in Lebanon is an extreme sport
Enquiete Exclusive - Special dangerous driving featuring Lebanon
According to new statistics Lebanon is second worse country for the death toll of traffic related death and it’s even more staggering when we look at the number of accidents. (Source)




If you want to have a more in depth discussion I'm always available by email or irc. We can discuss and argue about what you like and dislike, about new ideas to consider, opinions, etc..
If you don't feel like "having a discussion" or are intimidated by emails then you can simply say something small in the comment sections below and/or share it with your friends.