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Singaporeans are well-known for being extremely impatient drivers. While we can’t say that we’re the world’s worst batch of drivers in all existence, I think most of us would agree that we can be quite annoying. We honk more than we should, tailgate more than we need to, and barely practice much grace for others on the road.

What we make up for with our skills and decorum, we sorely lack in ethics and manners.

 "Not me, I’m a great driver", you may say.

Well, we really don’t believe you.

 Here are 11 irritating habits of Singaporean drivers that need to stop, pronto!

 

1. Let’s look for special 4D numbers!

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Many twisted, despicable things occur in this imperfect world. Poverty, obstruction of justice, gender inequality, and Singaporeans slowing down on the road to take down car plate numbers of cars that have gotten into accidents, aka. Rubbernecking. Yep, it’s a real thing, and it’s a hateful thing. Profiting off another motorist’s misfortune is already unpleasant enough, but get this - Slowing down also causes a ripple effect whereby traffic inevitably slows down and often comes to a complete stop. PS. Some motorists who aren’t imprudent about the 4D thing also tend to slow down, just to take a meddling peek and utter a useless quip to their passengers like: “Aiyo, so bad ah!” or “tsk tsk tsk!”. Don’t think we’ve forgotten you. Now drive on, and don’t kaypoh!

2. Road hogging 101

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Two words: "Keep left". Road hogging doesn’t happen all that much on smaller stretches of tarmac, but when it comes to expressways, it is needlessly common (and off-putting). The first lane is meant for overtaking. If you intend to cruise at 60km/h on a 90km/h stretch, then don’t hog the lane, and stay off the expressway! Remember, driving slow doesn’t mean driving safe, simply because you’ll be forcing other drivers to overtake from the left or tailgate you, and this can prove to be disastrous.

3. “Hello! I have a diploma in tailgating”

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Some of these tailgating diploma holders do it for the rage, others do it for the thrill, and others just want to bully you into some 'r3sp3kt'. Take it from Vin Diesel when he says, "You know this ain’t no 10-second race”. So don’t drive like it’s one, honey! On the flip side, if you have a bad habit of hogging the road, other motorists might just be signalling for you to get out of the way. But if a driver is getting all up in your business, do not retaliate! Keep calm and collected, and carry on with your journey peacefully. Road rage is not fun at all.

 

4. You shall not pass (into this lane)

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It happens to all of us - We signal to change lanes, and the motorist on the other lane suddenly becomes a gatekeeper, accelerates, and prevents you from doing so. Now, this is incredibly infuriating, so if you feel your blood is starting to boil, follow these three important steps: 1. Keep your cool! 2. Keep your cool! 3. Keep your cool! Just think of it: Getting all angsty and hitting back in any way wouldn’t make your momma proud, would it? Instead of lowering yourself to their selfishness, take the higher road and wait for your next opportunity. It’s not the end of the world, and we know you have enough patience to do the right thing despite another person’s pettiness.

5.“Here’s my invisible cut-the-queue card” 

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Sure, we all know that some people make honest mistakes and have to cut into a queue at the last minute. And while it’s impossible to tell when it’s an honest boo-boo and when it’s a smart alec move, we’d like to remind all motorists that it’s simply rude, selfish, and entitled behaviour to cut the queue. In a jam? Patiently wait for your turn, and don’t assume you are better or have more rights than anyone else. It’s not only impolite, but dangerous, and you’d be annoying a lot of people with your actions. Of course, we understand that in certain situations, you have to do what’s needed or demanded. So if your wife is in labour, or your kid’s hair is on fire, we understand it. At the end of the day: Be honest, and don’t be an entitled person.

6.  “Signalling is for losers”

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If you drive a BMW, we’re looking at you. Just Kidding. Okay, but seriously: Drivers of every make and model constantly make the huge mistake of not signalling. Whether you just think you’re too cool for school, or that signalling doesn’t make a difference, we’d just like to remind you that we’re not all telepathic, and if you don’t signal, you’re forcing other motorists to play guessing games, and play with their lives (and yours). If you cut in front of someone without signalling, the least you should do is apologise or say Thanks. Also, you should only blindly continue this habit if you love the idea of forfeiting your NCD or getting demerit points. Anyways, it's your choice!

7. A good driver never says their P’s and Q’s? Um… Wrong!

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We get it, some of you run the risk of a severe cramp when it comes to opening your mouth or using your hands to say Thank you. The rest of you are at high risk of cognitive failure if you choose to do the risky thing of saying ‘please’.

 No? Then, please, start being more well-mannered on the road! We could all do with less flipping off, and more salutes of ‘Thank you’ on our roads. It doesn’t hurt you or anyone if you are kind, and like the Dalai Lama once said, "Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible.”

8. I am a Hero!

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Most of us drive so we can carry out our other responsibilities better, and others have a sincere passion for motor. There is, however, a very select group of action film wannabes who thrive on showing off their ‘skills’. Yes, we’re talking about motorists who high beam innocent motorists, tailgate others for a thrill, and weave in and out of lanes like they’re being chased by the Adjustment Bureau. If you’re one of those skittish drivers, we beg you to turn over a new leaf. If you are an unsuspecting motorist who encounters any of these drivers, try your best to stay as far away as possible, and we wish you good luck.

9. Poor parking habits.

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No, your car is not meant to straddle two lots, my friend. Do you see those markings? They’re to help you in  your lot. Also, handicap lots are for physically challenged people. Oh, while we’re at it, human beings are not pieces of paper, so we need enough space to re-enter our cars, via our car doors.

  One of our team members recounts a time when they had to enter their car by the passenger door and squidge their way into the driver’s seat, and something tells us this did not happen just for them.

 We get that parking is not a strong suit with some drivers, but please, always try your best to park in the middle of your lot as much as possible, and to be mindful of others.

 

10. It’s (not) raining, man!

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We’ve noticed that some drivers tend to have a habit of overusing their wiper spray while driving. Now, if another car is relatively close by, what happens is that'll leave behind watermarks on their windscreen and bonnet, and also leave a nasty mark on their hearts. 

We all know it’s a never-ending struggle against rain, bird poop, and random blotches when it comes to keeping our windscreen clean. Oh boy! need we stress how important a clean windscreen is when it comes to road safety? We do get it.

 However, please refrain from giving your fellow drivers an unsolicited, shoddy car wash on their way to work. The universe will Thank you.

11. I know all the rules...Really?

Yep, we see all the newbie and P-plate drivers inching away (hahaha)… We know you have to learn a lot, but there’s no harm prepping yourself a little better when it comes to using the road and this applies to both explicit and implicit rules of the road.

Knowing where to turn or exit, not swerving when another car speeds past you, high beaming other folks, holding up traffic, and forgetting to switch on your headlights in the evenings are all common and inevitable mistakes inexperienced drivers make.

Well, how can I do what I haven’t learned yet if I haven’t learned it? We hear you, and while we don’t expect you to pick things up right away, a little crowdsourcing, intentionality, and

 

11. I speed, I overtake, I beat the lights

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We’d like to list a few more of the most unseemly behaviours of drivers, we’ve seen on the road:

  1. Ignoring the speed limit
  2. Ignoring or trying to beat traffic lights
  3. Overtaking from the left
  4. Overtaking nonsensically from the right

           Now, with all the above said, we would like to acknowledge that there are many great, considerate drivers out there despite these 11 irritating driver habits. If you’re a speed racer, red-light jumper, or lane hogger, we still love you, and the road to change awaits.

After all, our driving manners reflect who we are as a people, and we all want to be good human beings who leave this world in a better place than before we cruised by in it, right? We know you can do it. Best of luck, friends!

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