Five on Friday: 5 worst types of people to be stuck in a traffic jam with
In CNA's regular look at what hit the headlines during the week, Five on Friday identifies the people you'll dread being stuck in traffic with.
SINGAPORE: It's the June school holidays - school's out and parents are cracking their heads to find activities for their children.
For anyone who has been waiting feverishly for June to come, the recent news of heavy traffic at the Woodlands and Tuas checkpoints might come as a huge blow.
After all, we haven't been travelling much since the COVID-19 pandemic started.
But according to the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority, the number of people crossing the land checkpoints between Singapore and Malaysia has been increasing steadily.
In fact, the first weekend of June saw the largest number of travellers crossing the checkpoints since land borders reopened in April.
So, for those preparing to brave the heavy traffic for a vacation this weekend across the Straits, take a deep breath and pray you won't have to deal with or meet any of these people:
THE NOSE PICKERS
You’re stuck in a traffic jam, bored out of your wits. There’s nothing much for you to do except participate in some people watching.
Then you see a fellow driver in an adjacent car, who is full-on picking their nose (and worse - eating it). That’s a big no and yucks from me.
The driver probably thought no one would see them since they are comfortably seated in their own private space.
But unfortunately, you have a first-row seat to the show.
Interestingly, there have been several surveys which revealed that a high proportion of drivers do in fact pick their noses while on the road.
In a survey from 2016, about 66 per cent of Americans confess they pick their noses while operating a vehicle.
Over in Australia, drivers said they remove their boogers an average of 655 times over a seven-year period, according to a survey in 2020.
That’s not all. A study by the University of Nottingham last year found that drivers touch their face 26 times an hour on average.
So consider yourself warned - watch what you do with your hands. You never know who is watching.
THE SCREAMING CHILDREN
I know, you can't really hit the eject button for this group.
But when you have screaming children in your backseat and nowhere to run to, what are you going to do?
To be fair, it's not easy for young kids to sit through an hours-long traffic jam.
As their patience wears thin, the screaming will begin. Echoes of “Are we there yet? How long more? I’m so bored! Mum, dad, do something!” will commence.
Dealing with a traffic jam is one thing. But that coupled with cranky children? No doubt, it’s going to be tough.
Parents, what are your tips on dealing with this?
THE FREQUENT TOILET VISITORS
Needless to say, in a traffic jam, toilet breaks are rare, if not non-existent. Despite that, there will always be that one passenger who needs to use the lavatory … all the time.
Whether you’re five minutes or five hours into a drive, this passenger will probably request a quick stop to use a bathroom. The same person who did a mad dash to the toilet just as you are about to leave the house.
While writing this article, I did a quick search on surviving traffic jams while needing the toilet ... because not all of us can pee straight into a bottle.
Most of the search results involved portable urinals that can also be used to get through a jam. It'll take a bit of practice, especially for women but it's handy if you need to relieve yourself.
Or perhaps ration out the amount of liquids you or your passenger consume.
THE AGGRESSIVE DRIVERS
One of the worst things about being stuck in traffic during the holidays is the growing impatience from fellow drivers.
Many of us probably have some experience dealing with aggressive drivers who are always within bumper to bumper distance from the car in front of them.
These are the drivers who keep trying to close the gap when there's even the slightest inch because they don't want to lose their spot.
It makes changing lanes difficult and you start to worry if they are coming too close to you.
Your body is tense and you're waiting for that sickening tap you feel from the back when the car accidentally hits you.
The last thing you need right now is an escalating road rage situation.
It’s hard not to complain when you are cooped up in a car for a long time. But being stuck in a vehicle with someone who complains about everything is even harder.
Meet the complainers.
These people are bound to launch into a social commentary about everything - from their boredom and the weather to the traffic.
Maybe as a passenger, you're trying to sleep off the traffic or browse the Internet or listen to some music to pass time.
But all you hear are the constant complaints and what the world, in general, can do better. It brings your frustration to an all-time high.
To quote High School Musical, it’s important to remember that “we’re all in this together”. If you are guilty of being a complainer, take a chill pill and think of your fellow passengers. You'll get through this.