A few years ago traveling had to be one of my most hated things. Number one on the list would have to be crossing the road. The way I run has definitely got to be Olympics gold medal standard. Anyways, I used to always worry about it in the most negative lights. Because of this, I found ways to dodge events, interviews and other really important things. If only I knew how silly I was being back then.
I’d say my biggest fear about traveling was the fear of car crashes. Road travel can honestly be worrisome sometimes to be honest. Having to pass by car crash sites was and still is very uncomfortable. Sometimes, it’s actually comical the hush that falls over passengers and is usually punctuated by quiet prayers and sighs. The thoughts that usually follow after seeing something of the sort were thoughts I’d rather not experience; (make I just dey my house).
I’m sure you might be wondering how a writer or a person that loves to read would hate to travel. My wish used to be that I would be in different places without the actual process; rather silly, yeah? After talking to a few people however I’ve come to realize that this is actually a shared sentiment.
This fear is not relatable to road travelers alone surprisingly. It is a wide spread fear across passengers of air, water and even rail. For this post however I’ll be focusing on road and air travel.
What causes these fears?
Posing these questions; Do you like to travel? What’s your biggest fear about traveling? to a few random people it was rather sad but understandable the common answers I got. Bottom line? Most Nigerians are afraid to travel cos they don’t want to die. As funny as that might sound, the reasons for their fear and mine are legit albeit different. Either way, I’m going to break it down so we could see if this fear is actually misplaced.
“6450 Nigerians lost their lives on our roads in 2013, which includes 4552 men, 1398 women, 299 boys and 201 girls.” (as cited by FRSC Vehicle Inspection and Certification Head.)
It is no surprise the rate at which accidents occur on our roads. Seeing the figures however reveals the starkness of the situation. What is behind these alarming figures though? From the research on this, as you may have guessed, speed is the highest underlying factor. As much as we would want to blame bad roads, having good roads also poses as a problem. Case and point, Abuja roads. The recklessness of drivers is appalling and often times this results in gruesome outcomes.
Fatigue, alcohol consumption or drugs are other factors that lead to accidents. Entrusting your life to a random stranger without prior knowledge of their driving experience, physical or mental health is quite scary. I have been in a car where the driver had sworn on the life of his family to drive us safely. A few minutes into the journey he was nodding off on the wheel!
Security is another issu that road travelers worry about. Especially with the recent rise in tension in the country, communal clashes, religious crises and terrorism . These are some of the issues people have admitted to having fears about.
Road worthiness of the vehicles is also a cause for concern. Some transport companies or private car owners display sheer neglect when it comes to maintenance.
Air travel fears are based largely on the fear of crashing. A lot of people have admitted to this. This doesn’t mean there aren’t other things people worry about. There’s the left-behind-at-the-terminal-phobia, the fear of turbulence, the worry directed at poor aircraft maintenance or neglect as a whole and insecurity as well. These are the issues largely associated with traveling by air.
These fears are legit and plausible, however we cannot constantly live in fear, right?
What to do?
Although I cannot guarantee 100% safety with these few tips, they can however help us be cautious and take certain measures to curb our fears.
- When considering road travel do a quick research on the transport companies and see what their history is like. Find people whose opinions you trust and ask what companies they use or would recommend.
- Watch, listen or read up on the news to be aware if there are any towns to be avoided at a particular periods.
- If a driver is reckless lay a complaint to the company. And no, you are not a snitch, you were lucky doesn’t mean his next passengers will.
- At airports stay close to where you can clearly hear the flight announcements or close to passengers of the same flight. Cos no matter how much you shout they can’t bring the plane back down for you.
- Research on airlines is also a helpful tip. Pick the ones with good ratings on everything form customer service to state of the aircraft. this has a way of easing the mind.
Following these tips myself has made me more at ease with traveling and adding more places to my 17 year plan and hoping I cross them all out someday. 🙂
Do travel safe and without fear. Also don’t forget to call us for your flight bookings and hotel accommodations. Our numbers are 08189416000, 09028309961 . You can also log on to http://bookingsnigeria.com for more information.