Is it just me, or has driving in Qatar improved?
When I first arrived in Qatar, I used to reckon on about three scary incidents per trip. Now, while there is still plenty of bad driving going on, I often have trips where there are no scary incidents at all.
It is also possible that my driving has adapted to Qatar conditions. It’s certainly true that after a while here you seem to sense what cars are going to do. One handy tip that has helped me a lot is to rely on the position of cars on the road rather than their indicators to tell you whether they are going to turn or not.
However, I do think that driving has improved somewhat, and it seems to be backed up with statistics, with fewer road deaths last year.
When I asked Mike, a British expat who has been here for five years, he agreed with me.
“One thing that has happened since the new traffic laws have been brought in is a real fall in the speed of cars,” he said.
Thomas, a British man on his third visit to Qatar, also felt that the standard of driving had improved since his first visit two and a half years ago.
“Overall the standard of driving is better, although there are still some total idiots about.”
“People drive more carefully,” agreed Shinta, an Indonesian lady, “especially in regard to traffic lights. In fact, people will now stop at traffic lights at any cost.”
Another resident's memory stretches back a bit further:
"It's true people drove faster when I first came here 20 years ago," said Arun. "However, I believe that this is more to do with the fact that there is much traffic here now."
However, when I asked a Japanese lady whether she thought driving had improved, she shook her head firmly.
"Not at all. Not one bit."
"In fact," added her passenger, "I think it has got worse."
Also see our Ninety Second Guide to Driving in Qatar
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