Road transport is the most common form of transportation in Nigeria. It is cheaper than air travel, and rail transport is all shades of messy. Bus parks are extremely popular. Especially in city centres like Lagos. From Ojota to Yaba/Jibowu to Oshodi and Iyana-Ipaja, there are inter-state bus parks. If you are not driving yourself, across states, and across rivers, these safety tips might be great for you to adhere to.
If possible do not travel at Night
A lot of people, especially business travellers find it convenient to travel at night. Road travel in Nigeria can take an average of 9 hours from point A to point B. Except if you are visiting surrounding states. For this reason, many are avowed to spending an entire day just travelling, and would rather say goodnight Lagos, Good morning Port Harcourt. While this may seem smart, and time-saving, it is also risky. Circumstances might leave you stranded in the middle of the night and in the middle of nowhere. If this happens in the day it is easier for you to navigate your way around or to seek for help.
1. Patronize Big Transport Companies
Big transport companies, (think God is Good Motors or ABC Transport) take greater safety measures and service delivery process seriously. This is compared to smaller or one man transport companies. Bigger transport companies install speed limit devices on their vehicles. They also have monitoring mechanisms in place for their drivers and vehicles. This is not the case with smaller companies. This means that travelling with bigger, well-established companies would guarantee a better road travel experience.
2. Let your Next of Kin know you are travelling and the contact on manifest should be accurate
We often fill manifesto forms when we travel, but I have personally seen people fill their own contact numbers instead of their next of kin’s number. The purpose of asking for a next of kin’s number is to have a contact person to reach in case of an emergency. Be safety conscious by filling the correct next of kin details.
3. Be familiar with stopover motels and hotels on your route
If you take route regularly, become familiar with places to eat, and motels and hotels that you can stop over in the case of an emergency. This would help you know what direction to head in the case of an emergency where you need a place to stay for the night rather than being entirely at the mercy of locals.
4. No radio silence
It is important to be in constant communication with someone when travelling. This could be someone you are heading out to meet or someone you are just leaving. Once when I travelled a lot I would text the name of every major town we entered to a friend who knew I was travelling. Switching off your phones while on a trip isn’t a smart travel move as far as safety is concerned.
5. Travel Early
Also in line with not travelling at night, it’s also necessary to travel early. You would get to your destination early barring a hitch, and if there is one, you would still have more time left to spare, if a bad tire or traffic jam gets in the way of your average trip time.
Also, don’t tell your Village people when you are travelling. Wink wink.