Top 10 most common driving mistakes of Nigerian drivers


Everyone makes mistakes in their day to day driving experience but there are always some common ones that can be easily avoided. Check here the frequently seen mistakes while Nigerians are driving on roads!

If driving carefully wasn’t so important in the first place, there would have never been driving schools all over the world. And the government of each nation would have never made it compulsory to pass some driving tests before anyone could be given a driver’s license.

No one on the NaijaCarNews team will deny the fact that we humans are prone to making mistakes in our day to day life, especially in our driving experience. But we do believe that there are some common driving mistakes that many people repeat too often because they just never paid attention to them.

In our effort to correct some of the commonly recurring driving mistakes in the country, we have researched and discussed below the top 10 most common driving mistakes in Nigeria which we believe everyone can avoid;

1. Wearing a seatbelt in the wrong way or ignoring it

This is probably the number one driving mistake that a vast majority of Nigeria drivers and car owners make every single day. A lot of people do not realize that the seatbelts found in cars are not for fashion purposes but instead to save their lives. It’s was intelligently devised and crafted to help reduce impacts felt during sudden car crashes.

The image below clearly illustrates the proper way a seatbelt is to be worn;


Even in Nollywood movies, our actors usually ignore the seatbelts

Any driver or car owner that drives without the seatbelt is only exposing himself/herself to possible body injuries such as broken ribs, neckbones and the likes in case of a car crash. If the seatbelt in your car is faulty, try to get it replaced rather than risk your life for such a cheap car component.

2. Taking the wrong lane

Take it or leave it; driving on the wrong lane is just purely a bad driving habit!

When authorities catch most of the Nigerian drivers and car owners on the wrong lane; their number one excuse is always that they are in a haste. But the real question is; Are you the only one in a hurry?

The best way to avoid this mistake or bad habit is to always consider the fact that if everyone switches to the wrong lane then, the road will turn to absolute chaos.

Avoid going the opposite direction on a “One-way” lane and remember that even on a 3-lane highway, you should stick to the far left and not the “middle lane”.

3. Jumping ahead of the green light

There are just so many impatient drivers almost everywhere in the world that will never wait for the green light to fully stay on before they jump ahead. Likewise, there are also some irresponsible drivers that will still jump onto the road even when they see that the red light is about to come on.

In order to avoid unnecessary collision with some of these irresponsible or impatient drivers, try to wait for 1 to 2 seconds after the green light comes on before you move. Those 1-2 might save your life one day!


Saving yourself some seconds at the traffic light may cost your whole life at worst

Also, avoid being that irresponsible driver that always hit the road just 1 to 2 seconds before the red light turns on. Impatience has killed countless people on the road, you don’t want to be next!

4. Not checking your tyres daily

This is a very easy task but usually overlooked whereas it will go a long way in saving you from so many tyre-related problems that could occur while you are going about your day.

Keep it in mind to always check the four tyres of your car every morning before you roll out to the street.

Inspect your tyres for any visible wear or sign of needed replacement. A good car tyre should have sufficient thread as well as appropriate air pressure to handle the vehicle’s weight when in motion.

Under-inflated car tyres can ruin your day by causing the steering wheel to vibrate vigorously while you are driving. Similarly, over-inflated or worn-out car tyres can suddenly burst in the middle of the road while you are driving and lead to an accident or leave you stranded in the middle of nowhere.

5. Driving when drunk or under drug influence

Alcohol and drugs react differently in everyone’s body system but in most cases, they usually tamper your ability to concentrate when driving.

Having many years of experience as a driver doesn’t guarantee you can drive safely under the influence of alcohol or any hard drug even if it is a doctor prescribed drug.

Many people have attempted driving under drug or alcohol influence in the past, only to end up sleeping on the wheels with their foot hard-pressed on the gas pedal causing terrible car accidents and loss of lives.


Driving under the influence of any type of drug or alcohol is a serious offence punishable by law in Nigeria

If you are going to use any kind of powerful medication or get drunk, please hand over your car to a sober person to drive you or simply take a public bus.

6. Ignoring the distance beyond

This is one simple mistake that we just have to point out here and now.

Always pay close attention to the things near you and also far away from you when driving. Doing this on Nigerian roads will really help you to spot any traffic problems lying ahead of you and help you make good decisions before reaching that part of the road.

>>> You should refer to this post for more: How to avoid tailgating and being tailgated on the road?

7. Driving off while your engine is still revving

Many Nigerian drivers usually hop into their parked car, start the engine and immediately drive off. This is kind of bad.

The engine in every vehicle usually cools down to lower temperatures whenever a car is parked in a cool place for many hours.

No matter how modern your vehicle might be; it is always good to give the engine at least 10 – 15 seconds to get back into its average operating temperature before you step on the gas to drive off.

8. Ignoring the owner’s manual of your car

This point might not really apply to all Nigerian drivers as only a few do buy brand-new cars. However, you can always get the softcopy of any vehicle owner’s manual online regardless if you bought it brand-new or as a used car.

The reason we recommend that you get the owner’s manual for your vehicle is no other than the fact that it is usually the most comprehensive documentation about any car model. It always comes with guides and procedures for making quick fixes to any part of a car. And the owner’s manual also contains information on the best recommendations for replacement parts and maintenance schedules that are specific to a car.

9. Using mobile phones while driving

It doesn’t matter whether you are an expert driver or not; you should always pay full attention when driving because any silly mistake you make when distracted can cost many people their lives.

Just for humanity sake; never try using a mobile phone at the same time while you are driving. It will always get your attention divided.

Using a mobile phone while driving is a punishable offence under the Nigerian judicial system just like some other places around the world as well.

  The Biggest Driving Mistakes and Bad Habits

>>> More driving tips for you: 10 things to be careful for in everyday driving

10. Driving too close to the car in the front

It makes no driving sense at all to keep getting too close to the car in front of you as if you are a “monitoring spirit”.

You should always keep a little distance between you and the car in front of you to avoid ramming into each other when you enter the bumpy side of the road, as well as help, prevent a head-on collision in case the car in front of you suddenly stops.

At this point, we hope you are now fully aware of the top common Nigerian driving mistakes you can easily avoid, right?

>>> To see more useful tips and advice like this, navigate to our Driving tips section now!

Oluwaseun Solomon


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