If any of you can remember (which you probably won't) back in 2006 and 2008 I posted up my thoughts about the traffic situation in KSA, and classified the fascinating variety of drivers present in the kingdom. Well apparently since then I've come across some even more different & dangerous breeds of drivers.
If you haven't read them I suggest you take a look at them before proceeding.
The Drifter: Forget the speed freak and the linerider, this guy may quite possibly be the most dangerous driver on the road at the moment. Initially this individual seems to be the epitome of a normal driver. However as soon you approach him from the next lane, he will for some inexplicable reason, slowly begin to drift in your direction, onto your lane. These guys even seem to time their movements too so that when they drift onto your lane, they do so exactly at the same point where your car is intended to be. Kind of like a predatory animal stalking prey in the Serengeti. Was there a lion documentary marathon on the National Geographic channel that I wasn't aware of?
The problem is almost everybody on the road is doing it. Somebody needs to inform these idiots that the rear view mirror is there for a reason, not for trimming your nose hair or fixing your gutra in any one of your preferred 3 million combinations.
The Cellular-Man: This guy likes to keep himself connected all the time. Even when he's not taking a call. And especially when he's driving and supposed to be paying attention to the road. I suppose having the latest iphone taped to the ear gives these men a false sense of sophistication. But in the end not even your awesome bluetooth earpiece will save you from the embarrassment of having to stand in front of your wrecked beamer waiting for the police to arrive because you thought you could be Waleed bin Talal for a day.
The Car-horn Master: Not as dangerous as the above two, but sure as hell is the most annoying. Ever notice that one driver that honks his car-horn for no apparent reason? Like at a red light. Or on a road with few cars. Or when you're waiting in line at the McDonald's drive-thru. Yea thats the Car-horn Master. Legend has it that the these particular individuals are trained in the mystical art of Noise. So adept are they that no street, road, highway, or quiet neighborhood can defy their almighty power. Except for the police. And any person with a stick handy.
The Woman Driver: Oh thats right, I forgot....
The good news is that KSA now no longer holds the record of the highest traffic accident rates in the gulf. The UAE as of this year has a higher traffic accident rate according to the WHO, approximately 37.1 road fatalities per 100,000 inhabitants, compared to KSA's 29.0 road fatalities per 100,000 inhabitants. Which is pretty crazy when compared to Bahrain, Qatar, and Kuwait who have rates of 12.1, 23.7, 16.9 respectively.
I know people are trying to improve the situation in KSA, but frankly speaking, TV adverts on the dangers of car accidents, while being informative, is not going to do anything. Neither is having big bearded sheikhs on TV ruling bad driving as "haram" going to help much. If saudis want to decrease traffic accidents, then all they have to do is just improve the training in the driving schools. Yes its really that simple.