Spare wheelBy Harriman Oyofo:

All it takes is one more failure and you’re stuck, often, in the most inconvenient, dangerous and hazardous of places. That’s when you begin to realize how costly such an oversight or carelessness could be in real terms. Because once you’re stuck, especially at night, on a lonely stretch of road or highway, you’ll have very little or no say about what happens next. With no help immediately within sight you’re, as they say, on your own, exposed, lonely, fuming, dejected and kicking yourself wondering. God help you if a heavy tropical downpour is thrown in for good measure by mother nature. Far fetched for you? Don’t bet on it.

When you leave home without a spare tyre you’re simply gambling with yours and other people’s safety. Consider for just a moment what it would mean for you and others in traffic if your puncture occurred on the crest of a hill, at a very tricky bend, narrow bridge or on the fast lane of an expressway, etc. First, you’ll immediately need to maneuver your vehicle across other lanes to the safety of a layby or service lane, if there’s any. In the seconds or minutes it takes, you’ll be fair game for a number of road traffic nasties, including high speed rear end collisions, sideswipes, serious injury, damage or even a fatality.

Assuming you get through all that unscathed, you still have to face the task of getting back on the road which means fixing the puncture, or turning to complete strangers for a lift in the dead of the night, or taking a walk for God only knows how long and hoping for the best. Chances are that you won’t find any of those options particularly attractive given the situation. At seminars and workshops, I’ve heard accounts of chilling horror stories ranging from robberies, kidnappings, or even random senseless acts of violence. If you were with your family, what would you do?

Breakdowns in traffic are no joking matter when it comes to safety. They can lead to more serious consequences than the everyday motoring headaches. Some times the security implications far more outweigh the simple issues of schedule delays, getting drenched in the rain, damaged rear ends, police or FRSC Violations Ticket. Truth is no one need expose themselves or their family to such dangers. The rule should be simple enough: No spare, no outing. But if you must, then call a cab or hitch a ride with a friend or family member, where possible. If it can happen, it will, remember Murphy’s Law? So don’t kid yourself into doing the wrong thing that may in the end turn out to be extremely unsafe for all. There’s no point taking a chance only to rue it for the rest of your life.

Make a habit of checking out the state of your spare tyre every so often just to be sure it is in ready-state for use whenever required. Finding out too late is equivalent to leaving home without it in the first place. It could prove too costly in the end.

HARRIMAN OYOFO

Watch out for the perils of Driving in the dark

 

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