Going to a driving school to learn driving is a practice many Nigerians do not embrace. AB Drives examines this common trend that is viewed as a major cause of accidents on Nigerian roads. And found some of the key reasons why Nigerians don’t go driving schools.
In a survey conducted by our team, more than half of the 20 respondents — which cut across commercial bus/taxi drivers, private car owners, young and old respectively — said they never attended a formal driving school.
Instead, they were taught by their family members, colleagues at work or some close friends. This trend is found to be common with young Nigerians between the ages of 18 and 40.
For example: Mr. Olayinka Saheed, a businessman, is a licensed driver. Saheed did not attend a driving school; he learnt how to drive from watching his friend drive his car.
Mr. Jude Umoreh also is 28 years; he did not go to any driving school to learn driving skills. In his words:
“I learnt how to drive from my elder brother and it took me about three weeks”.
So this will tell you how most Nigerians get to drive.
According to records from the Motor Vehicle Administration Department (FRSC Headquarters, Abuja):
About 11 million vehicles have been registered to ply Nigerian roads between 1999 and 2014; while only about 6 million drivers have been issued driving licenses between 2000 and 2014.
These figures could be higher, especially when you consider the fact that some families and individuals own two or more vehicles.
However, this statistics is devoid of the large percentage of drivers who do not possess valid driving licenses.
Despite the high number of Nigerians with no formal education on driving, there are still a few that got their driving licenses the proper way.
For example, a car owner, Mr. Michael; he has been driving for eight years. Michael had to go to a driving school because; according to him: “I don’t want to learn the hard way” he said.
He might obviously believed that obtaining a driver’s license, overcoming driving issues and lowering ones car maintenance cost and damages require intensive driving classes in most cases.
Now one may ask: What then are the main reasons why Nigerians don’t attend formal driver education before hitting the road?
5 Main Reasons Why Nigerians Don’t Go Driving Schools
#1. The Low Standard of Living:
Even though the cost of a basic driving lesson is reasonably affordable in Nigeria, many Nigerians don’t want to pay money to be properly educated.
Instead, they will like to cut corners by turning to their auto-mechanics or family members to learn driving; thus, forgetting the importance of safe driving principles.
#2. The ‘I Don’t Care’ Attitude
The ‘I don’t care’ attitude of many Nigerians to human life is causing lots of harm than good. Many Nigerians simply believed that because they have a driving license or because they know how to move a vehicle; it means they can drive.
According to some, “Driving is easy; why should anyone require a formal training to learn it?”
This single mindset has also proved difficult to change over the years. Driving can be fun, yes! But it can also be dangerous!
#3. Poor Service Condition
The poor service conditions of many driving schools in Nigeria are not helping matter. This has been characterized by the industry. Most Nigerian driving schools today use old vehicles (like Volkswagen Beetle) for their driving training activities.
This approach is creating a bad image about the need for safety of lives and property and has to be changed. Again, some Nigerian driving schools do not offer the right environment for learning nor employ qualified driving training instructors (DTI).
Although, most driving school operators we visited during this research are of the view that this is due to the high capital cost of vehicles acquisition and maintenance; the low income margins, and the current economic situation.
#4. The Poor Driving Law Enforcement:
Notwithstanding the above, many of our respondents blamed the poor enforcement of existing driving laws and road safety regulations by relevant authorities.
A lot of people have blamed the government agencies and road transport institutions for their negligence. They claimed that poor attitude of the road management agencies in Nigeria is one of the reasons why Nigerians shun driving schools.
Due to their in ability to enforce the available Road Use Acts; most Nigerians don’t think it’s necessary or compulsory to go to driving schools before getting the license to drive.
#5. Convenience is also a limiting factor
Nigerians are too busy to learn. Many find it difficult to work out time for self development trainings, especially when it comes to driving.
Again, the far distance of most driving schools form the individual learner is also a problem. Driving instructors and vehicle operators are therefore expected to take user’ situations into account while designing their driving lessons.
Wrapping up: Why Nigerians Don’t Go Driving Schools
Everyone needs to learn how to safely operate an automobile at some point in their life. Being a safe driver takes a lot of skill, experience, and responsibility.
It I important that parent, driving instructors and even the government do their best to save lives and reduce road accidents.
Government should do their jobs, the driving schools are expected to use best business models in carrying out their businesses; while parents should ensure they register themselves and their children to the best driving school; accredited by the Nigerian Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC).
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