During the holidays, the ‘do not travel outside your city’ cautionary advice became rampant. This was because of the consciousness that we are still facing a global pandemic here in Nigeria. And also because of rising issues of insecurity in the nation after the #EndSARSPROTESTS.
Not that people weren’t still travelling, but the caution was mainly for road users. When you consider the recent high airfare, travelling by road became a necessity for those who couldn’t afford flight tickets.
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Recently, a friend shared a testimony on Facebook of how he got kidnapped when travelling back from an out-of-town wedding he attended. There were a few things from his story that stood out to me as a red flag for travelling by road this period.
Here are 5 tips to stay safe while travelling by road this season:
1. Travel Early
Most people are in such a hurry to get to their destination they make hasty decisions while travelling. To avoid being in such a situation, it’s best to plan your trip a day early. Rather than travelling at crunch time like on December 24th or 31st, travel a day or days earlier. This will make it possible for you to sleepover in a nearby town if something happens to your vehicle. It will be easier to resolve the issue patiently than when you travel too close to your designated time of arrival at your destination.
Also, travel in the daytime. No matter how often you have travelled a route, do not try it at night. Moving while there is daylight enables you to avoid potholes or crevices on the road that could cause accidents when trying to avoid them. In daylight, you are better able to observe your environment better for those driving. If you leave your location earlier in the day, you can arrive at your last destination much earlier too. This way, you avoid the web of kidnappers who come out in the evening time shooting in the air to scare drivers.
2. Do Not Use Unmarked Or Unsolicited Transport Companies
This is such a high risk that most people will take to ensure they get to their destination before a self-imposed deadline. Most of these outfits are not under regulation. They may absolve themselves of responsibility if anything happens to the car or drivers who use personal vehicles to work in the park for a fee. Use a reputable transport company who takes down a list of passengers in a manifest and make sure your family members are aware. If something happens to the vehicle along the way, trust the company’s plan. They will usually send another car to pick you up or arrange for a mechanic to show up and try to fix the problem. Don’t go off on your own to get another transport arrangement along the road to get home early. You might just be making locating you harder for those you informed of your movement plans.
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3. Do Not Post Details Of Your Movement/Plans On Social Media
Sure, it is cool to have your location app on when you travel to allow Google to track your location. But no one said you need to post information about when and where you are travelling from on social media. You might just be providing kidnappers’ or robbers’ relevant up-to-date information to allow them to make a coordinated strike against you. If you must put on your location for a timestamped picture along your journey, put it off afterwards. Wait till you’ve left there or you are at your final destination to post it.
4. Hide Your Valuables
Keep expensive items out of sight. That way, if someone takes an overall look at you or peeps into your vehicle, you won’t stand out to them as a potential target. You might not know it because of the circle you are in or your social bubble, but there is hunger in the land. Everyone is out to get something just to get by. So when travelling, it’s best not to flaunt anything glamorous.
5. Travel When The Roads Are Busy
It is tempting to travel when the roads are less busy to avoid being caught in heinous traffic. But it is safer to travel when there are more road users on the road than when there are none. In fact, worry if you are travelling along a busy route and it is eerily quiet. That could mean either something bad has happened there before or is about to happen. If you are stuck in traffic and cars are taking a route you haven’t tried, watch the number of cars taking it before you join in.
Now that work has resumed, we wish all travellers safe journey are they return to their permanent abode.
Featured Image Source: Curly Tales
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