Why do Brunei drivers slow down at accidents?

When you are driving to work and you noticed that the traffic slowing down, much much slower than usual, you automatically assumed a few things. One is that there is a police road block up ahead or or there is some major roadworks up ahead or there is an accident up ahead. If it's the police or roadworks, usually you would start to do a little curse something along the line, couldn't they they have waited until rush hour is over? If it is an accident, you curse all the other drivers for slowing down and yet without fail you yourself have slowed down when passing by the accident.

Why is that? Why do drivers slow down when passing by an accident? Everyone realises the impact to the rest of the traffic behind us. What are they looking for? Apparently this is not just Brunei. It happens to every accident in the world. I have my own theory but so do others. To me usually it is just curiousity. I am never the first to see the accident as by the time I come across it, a whole line of cars would have slowed down in front of it and since I am already slowing down, I am usually thinking that I can afford to have a glance when I am passing by it. Imagine everyone doing the same thing I do.

Why look? Morbid curiousity is always the answer. Human by nature are curious animals as some sociologists would say. Some would justify it by saying, in case it's someone I know and some would say I would like to help out. When I was in Singapore and Malaysia, I was told that people look to look out for the license plate numbers of the cars involved for the 4-D number thing. I guess everyone would have their own reason for slowing down and for looking. I don't know about yours?

I was trawling on the internet for pointers on this subject. I came across a list of other whys? So here goes. Why do people slow down when merging into highways? Why do people fail to "keep left except to pass"? Why do people not use their directional signals? Why do people not know the proper order at a 4 way stop? Why do people see stop signs as a mere suggestion? Why is everyone a worse driver than me? Why does no one know how to drive? To add to that, in Brunei's case, why do people not know how to use a roundabout?

On that subject, my sister's car got hit at the infamous Kiulap/Kiarong roundabout. It wasn't that bad but it does put the car out of action for a couple of days. Luckily the driver owned up and paid for the damage. I noticed it's not just that roundabout that drivers go into the wrong lane. Even the two lane roundabouts at the Beribi Gadong areas or the Berakas Airport roundabouts, cars go into the wrong lanes. Accidents rarely occur because drivers are able to slow down or able to take evasive manouvers. But at the Kiulap Kiarong roundabout, the problems get exacerbated because of the size of the roundabout and also the speed of the cars travelling on and off the highway. I have posted about this a few times and despite the numerous advertisements on Brunei television (which I presumed not many people watched and even if they did, they might not understand it), accidents still occur. At the other roundabouts, the traffic lights project seemed to have stalled now. What happened?


Anonymous said…
Some of the reasons for slowing down around the site of an accident may be practical. The car's occupants may be lingering around and it wouldn't be very nice to hit them now would it? And if the police are already on the scene why risk a speeding ticket (yes, even in Brunei...) Or maybe drivers and subconsciously reminded of the dangers of driving.

The most practical reason I can think of is that sometimes the accident reduces the passable area for cars. On Monday there was a 6-car accident (yes, SIX cars!) on one of the exits from the Kiulap-Kiarong three-lane roundabout allowing only one car to pass at at time. About an hour later the entire roundabout was gridlocked.
Anonymous said…
we (humans) are blessed and also cursed with curiosity.
Anonymous said…
roundabouts!!the area i try my best to avoid!!i was on the second lane when this stupid car on the first lane (on my left) took over when entering the roundabout!!i honked!!n he honked back!!these ppl are so stupid..or they feel that they are the road warriors but ignorant about other ppl's safety!!issshhh!!there should be some sorta saman to these ignorant ppl!!they ARE endangering other ppl's lives!!
Anonymous said…
You are quite right about people not knowing how to drive let alone how to park.

Check out this site: youparkingidiot.blogspot.com
Anonymous said…
i find the traffic lights on the roundabout ridiculous. it reflects the inability of the residents to drive properly round a roundabout. Why else do we need a roundabout?? It absolutely kills the purpose with an addition of traffic lights.

i do wonder, whether we are the only country and the first to implement a 'roundabout with traffic light' idea. it seems that the driving license test needs a re-tweaking.
Anonymous said…
Morbid curiosity sums it up! Plus the desire to offer assistance if necessary and Ism's very true practical reasons. It's probably abnormal to not slow down and have a look, instead just zooming off all blase into the distance=p
Anonymous said…
Penyibuk. Busybody. kaypoh.

That explains.
Anonymous said…
drivers' curiousity + police management + the spot of the accident in the middle of the road = traffic jammmmed!!
Anonymous said…
You just need to watch how learners tackle the roundabouts in Seria & KB to know WHY we have people who doesn't know the proper lanes to use.

Imagine committing a roundabout error with a driving tutor inside?
Anonymous said…
chances are: you know someone who is friends with someone who has a neighbour who knows someone that is related to the person involved in the accident. so, it's only fair to "care" enough to slow down and check it out.
Anonymous said…
Actually Jason... Brunei is not the first to have traffic lights s in roundabouts. When I was driving in UK I was surprised to find traffic lights on many roundabouts there. And I though "Eh?" But apparently it works there. In Brunei's case, I guess they need to work out the best traffic light pattern to smooth out the traffic flow. One way I can think of, is to install cameras to monitor the traffic and let human operators manually controll the flow of traffic. Or if they have more money.. an intellegent computerised system.
Anonymous said…
its free entertainment whether u like it or not.. :)
Anonymous said…
Check out the Magic Swindon Rounabout ! Surely our rounabouts can't be as bad as the Swindon Rounabout.

Anonymous said…
Why do people slow down when merging into highways?

- Cos they're being too cautious of cars that stick to the left lane of the highway. When in UK, most drivers always courteously give way to the cars merging into highways giving signals/highlighting or they move to the right lane if got no traffic from behind. Of course the merging traffic should be alert and match the speed of the highway traffic lah so as not to stall traffic. In Brunei they don't give way if you don't signal and to qoute a previous comment-er, "highlights mean get the hell out of my way or I'm gonna crash into you!"

Why do people fail to "keep left except to pass"?

- Because the right lane always smooth one, left lane got potholes or ridges. Because "I feel like i'm going fast already since I'm adhereing to speed limit".

Why do people not use their directional signals?

- To save karan and light bulb?? because hands are busy with mobile phone?? These people do not realise how inconvenient/accident prone and how many seconds are wasted waiting to see if they are coming into the intersection or what.

I rubber-neck to see the git that's kept me late for work!

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