Danfo is a common means of transportation in Lagos state.
According to the Lagos state government, 12 million Lagosians use public transport daily. And most people that make up that number, patronize danfos.
Tragically, most danfos are poorly maintained and are operated in the most atrocious working condition. The apparatuses installed in them to ensure the safety of the occupants is either lacking or not functioning. Interestingly, most of these items are designed to keep the driver and occupants safe during travels, as they guide the drivers to make informed driving decisions.
These are some of the reasons why a ride in a danfo is considered risky.
Indeed, danfos contribute significantly to why residing in Lagos state comes at great risk – whether you patronize them or not.
Below are some reasons why danfos makes commuting in Lagos state a risky adventure.
Windshield wipers are designed to improve a driver’s visibility, especially in inclement weather conditions.
When it rains, a danfo that lacks functioning wipers causes the visibility of the driver to be impaired. This makes him unable to see clearly ahead of him. This can lead to a crash or other potentially fatal consequences.
Moreover, some defective wipers leave marks or scratches on the windshield. These marks also make visibility poor even when the weather condition is clement.
In Lagos, Danfos with non-functional lights is the norm, as opposed to the exception.
These lights are designed to ensure the safety of the occupants of the danfo and other motorists.
Sadly, the road traffic authorities are legends at ignoring these anomalies, especially after monies have exchanged hands between them and an offending danfo driver.
Seatbelts save lives. In the event of a sudden halt of a vehicle, seating in a car without wearing a seatbelt can launch a passenger through the windshield.
It is for this reason that there is strict enforcement of wearing seatbelts globally.
In Lagos, there is an enforcement of the seatbelt law. Most danfos have seatbelts installed in them. However, most of the danfos have the most awkward seatbelts.
Their seatbelts are slack. They lack the ability to effectively grip passengers wearing them. Most of the seatbelts are disconnected seatbelts that are tied at both ends, thus lacks lifesaving capacities.
Side mirrors are critical appendages on vehicles. They are designed to increase the visibility of the drivers in order for them to see rear objects, cars, and pedestrians.
Side mirrors enable vehicle drivers to make informed judgments on when it is safe to overtake, make turns, halt, etc.
Many danfos in Lagos lack at least one of its sides mirror. Mostly, both.
This makes driving judgments very poor amongst danfo drivers. The absence of either of the two side mirrors contributes to why danfo driver are notorious for making turns, overtakes, halts, etc dangerously.
Fuel gauge or meter
Danfos are notorious for their non-functional fuel gauge.
This is why a danfo in transit can suddenly breakdown at unusual or dangerous places in traffic. This often leads to traffic flow impedance, and passengers being abandoned at precarious spots.
Also, the non-functioning fuel gauge is the reason why a container of petrol is often kept inside danfos. The fuel in the container becomes useful when the danfo run out of fuel during transit.
In some bus models, the danfo batteries are situated at the back of the driver’s or front passenger’s seat – exposed. This often leaves the area looking like some kind of low budget physics lab experiment.
Most of these batteries have leaking solutions on them, and sparking wires. This situation can lead to a fire outbreak, or a sudden halt of the danfo, if a passenger unwittingly makes contact with the wires.
Agberos are one of the biggest menaces on roads in Lagos. They are a conspicuous presence at various bus stops in Lagos. Their job is to harass drivers for diverse levies and dues.
As a result of their presence, most danfo drivers, in an attempt to escape paying these dues, often over speed or drive recklessly in order to escape the agberos. A number of crashes and fatalities have occurred as a result of this.
In most part of Nigeria – the fastest place to purchase alcoholic drinks is at bus stops and motor parks.
Clearly, this is an anomaly in a nation that outlaws drunk driving.
In Lagos, at every bus stop and motor park, there are stands where alcoholic drinks are sold.
The availability of alcoholic drinks at bus stops and motor parks makes it difficult for danfo drivers to resist the urge for some alcoholic indulges before or during trips.
Inebriated condition contributes to the recklessness often noticed amongst danfo drivers on the roads. This makes them prone to making fatal driving decisions.
Vehicle manufacturers typically fit dashboards with buttons, knobs or indicators.
Some of these dashboard features are there to alert the driver of a malfunction– or potential danger. Some are there to guide you in order to make safe driving decisions. In other words, these features are there to ensure the safety of the driver and the passengers.
For instance, your fuel gauge or indicator keeps you updated on the quantity of fuel you have left in your vehicle. The temperature gauge makes you aware of the temperature of your engine. The Hazard warning or “double indicator” alerts you to know if you are indicating to other motorists that you are in a distressed condition, etc.
Simply, the better your dashboard items are, the safer your driving will be.
Sadly, in almost all danfos, none of the dashboard items are functional. Not even the fuel meter or speedometer.
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