By Zainab Al-Mashoor
KUWAIT: Despite the strict traffic regulations in Kuwait, reckless driving is still being practiced on a daily basis, contributing to an average of 193 accidents per day. This reckless behavior not only poses a direct threat to public safety, but also pits citizens against each other. Whether it’s racing other vehicles, passing on blind curves, cutting in and out of lanes, using the phone, not using indicators, running red lights, overspeeding, etc. These behaviors create risky situations for fellow drivers on the roads.
Kuwait Times spoke to various individuals who have suffered from reckless drivers. Waseem Choudry, riding pillion on a bike on Gulf Street, experienced a life-altering accident when a car abruptly appeared in front of them, resulting in significant injuries. “After I was thrown off the bike, I checked on my unconscious friend. Shortly after, I too lost consciousness and woke up in the hospital with both legs broken, a fractured hand and shoulder, and damage to my skull. It took me six months of recovery with limited movement, and to this day, I have screws in my body,” Choudry recounted.
“Those days were difficult to endure, but it was worse watching my family suffer from agony, worried about me through the process,” he added. After six months of recovery, Choudry pursued legal action, and the reckless driver was fined. Choudry emphasized the importance of driving responsibly and highlighted the true cost of an accident extends beyond the physical injuries to emotional and familial distress.
In another incident, Islam travelling on a highway with his pregnant wife, when suddenly a car appeared in front of them, taking a free right at high speed and causing an accident. Islam’s car windows shattered on their faces, resulting in severe injuries and damage to the car. Fortunately, the baby was safe, and Islam and his wife were blessed to live.
The driver responsible didn’t have a license or insurance and has escaped accountability through their power and connections, leaving Islam to bear the financial costs of his damages. Islam hopes people are more careful while driving and hopes people pay for their wrongdoings, accept their mistakes and not cause harm to others.
In other cases, Zainab’s car was hit by another driver cutting through the lane to attempt a U-turn with no signaling or communication. Mohamed’s car was struck by a driver using his phone, ramming it into a traffic light and causing huge damage. A hit-and-run accident where the driver was speeding in an industrial area resulted in damage to Noor’s car.
Beyond the immediate physical and financial effects, reckless driving is discouraging other motorists from driving. The lack of accountability for those violating the rules contributes to a sense of injustice among law-abiding citizens. Drivers should share the space and respect the safety of others and their properties by following rules to make it a safe environment for people to travel in their means of transportation.