Driving in Kuwait

car crash
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This has got to hurt. How fast were they going?

A typical scene, though usually you see rollovers. Every weekend in the morning you can see the results. Usually in the 30 km drive into the city there are a couple along the way. And they don’t actually take away the damaged vehicles right away if they are off on the side of the road. You’d think this would remind people better on driving more safely. The problem is, once you spin out if you don’t fly off and do this, you’ll catch a wheel in the soft sand at the side and roll.
car crash
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This police vehicle had just flown by my friend when it hit the side of a large truck. How do they explain this to the boss?
Well, I’ve been doing it firsthand for three months now. I’m gettign used to it. It isn’t easy and has many hazards. But it can be done.

The average is three deaths per day, two being pedestrians.

Of course, no right of way for pedestrians. But also they take chances. You have to assume that even on a side street the car is going 150 kmh and not cross.

car crash
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Here is a classic example of bad driving moves in combination. By the type of car this is most likely a military person on the way to the air base.

The passing vehicle had just passed a car and war parallel with my friend. He keeps a camera on the dash, so he just presses the shutter to get hte photo. Then while out to pass, note the so called passing area ends with the white line becoming dashed, and it is nearing an uphill and after the bus there is another car to pass. Well, the good point is these Caprices have serious power for passing.

car crash
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This one hit the back of a boat that was being pulled on a trailer.

car crash
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This one was a Nissan SUV.

The other day I was cruising on a side road — not at 150 — when my intuition told me that because there was a boulevard in the middle with trees that there might be a pedestrian or someting. Well I eased up on the gas and sure enough, out of the shadows, making a dash. Well of course, he was OK. This time.

Lose concentration for a minute and you are sure to be ploughed down by a raving lunatic in a hulking SUV. As the article said in the Friday Kuwait Times, Cars lher love to wrap themselves areound lampposts, kiss the derriere of the vehicle in front and hug pedestrians. How sweet.

What else?

  • Some drivers thingk the lanes in the road run in a zig zag course. A clogged road is a clogged road, the dont’ get there much faster!
  • Flashing head lights high beams. This is very common. Fly in the left lane close to 200 kmh flashing the high beams (using the ‘dipper’). And they won’t back down even though the left lane is full, they still think you should pull over. And the other day I saw a famous one. They flashed the car and it pulled into the middle lane then they remembered that they had to turn right so crossed over to the right, almost hitting the car that just moved over and turned right.
  • Xenon lights are also flashed. This is almost blinding.
  • Road design is very bad, lanes disappear and people just move over, ladies with veils and no peripheral vision, or men in a headdress, just move without looking. Or signs can’t be seen because they are not clear or the greenery is overgrown.
  • Left turn at a light. Well, let’s see. Far left lane, mandatory. Next lane like normal turn or straight. And the third lane, optional left turn if busy. so don’t think of going straight in the second lane. I did that and the bozo on my right who should only go straight honked at me as if I was in the wrong.
  • Cell phones, well sometimes people slow down, or they fly past you then slow as they talk on the phone. And we all know how well people drive well on the phone.
  • And, last but not least. You sometimes see kids on quads bombing along the side roads or the odd motorcycle zooming by. Today’s paper shows a couple of kids going down the street doing a wheelie.

Oh and there are lots of traffic circles. The one in the center of the city, has six roads out and many lanes. I’m not sure who has what right of way.

So what to do? Drive defensively with the right amount of agression. What does that mean?

  • Scanning and scanning as if at war. Anticpate idiot moves everywhere due to agression and incompetence. You’ve got drivers from Kuwait, Bangladesh and you name it.
  • Road Signs and Red Lights. Be careful. If you stop you may get rear ended. Everyone runs lights. Generally it is OK. The lights are on a long cycle. If you are first off the line look carefully before going.
  • Pedestrian crossings, forget it.
  • Speed, drive as fast as you think you can go safely. don’t worry about police. Ifthey are folliwing with lights on, and flashing, don’t worry. Just let them pass. They always drive with lights on. Probably they are ont he way to an accident possibly fatal, there are not many donut shops here. Police cars been seen to move over to let SUVs pass who flash them also. Who knows maybe the SUV driver has more political influence than the police officer. Oh and if you are in an accident, you can’t move your car until the police come.

Wait, there’s more:

  • Nobody uses car seats, kids standing in the drivers lap or heads out of the sunroof. They should give car seats to new mothers that leave the hospital or not let them leave. That would never work, the doctors would have to do it or nobody would listen.
  • No daytime running lights. I keep mine on, and people flash me to be helpful, or the security checkpoints tell me they are on. So I turn them off then on down the road. The lights go off automatically when I lock the doors with the remote anyhow.

    The paper give a final caution, as a pedestrian, if drivers beckon you to cross, be wary. There is always a blind spot or change of mind by the driver!

    Final parting photo below. This is a crash in a residential area. How fast were they going? And they did it all by themselves like many of the crashes here.
    car crash
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One response to “Driving in Kuwait”

  1. This is the perfect site for everyone who wishes to find out about this topic. You understand a whole lot its almost hard to argue with you (not that I personally would want to…HaHa). You definitely put a fresh spin on a subject which has been written about for ages. Great stuff, just wonderful!

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