Show Me How You Drive and I’ll Tell You Who You Are

A collision between a pedestrian and a motorcycle would likely result in far more damage to the pedestrian than to the motorcycle. Similarly, when a motorcycle and a car collide, the motorcycle would receive more severe beating than the car. The very same principle would apply each time you’d try to compare a clash between something that’s fundamentally bigger and stronger with something that’s incomparably smaller and weaker. Needless to say, the application doesn’t end with inanimate objects.

Photo: Cambodia - Motorcycle is More Dangerous so Bicyclist Will Be Cut Off
Photo: Cambodia - Motorcycle is More Dangerous so Bicyclist Will Be Cut Off

It’s fascinating how countries with highest incidence of violence also have the most arrogant and disrespectful drivers. It makes sense, after all that people who are arrogant and disrespectful with others in general, also take their arrogance and disrespect behind the wheel of a motor vehicle.

Take Your Hang-ups Behind the Wheel?

I noticed the bullying of pedestrians by car drivers and motorcyclists as soon as I started my round the world trip in Cambodia. I was the pedestrian myself so taking a note took as little as stepping outside of my hotel room. Immediately after leaving the premises of the Two Dragons Guesthouse where I stayed at the time, I was forced to jump off the way of every motorcycle in vicinity because wherever they rode, they were not stopping nor swerving for no stinking pedestrians.

As I observed soon after, all motorcyclists had to ride for their lives when a car rode down the road because a driver of the car would never slow down nor swerve to safely dodge the motorcycles. It was an obvious case of “if my vehicle is bigger and stronger than yours, I will harass you all I want and will never give you the right of way because for as long as I’m in a vehicle that’s bigger and stronger than yours, I’m bigger and stronger than you and that means I own you.

Not surprisingly, going from being a bully to being bullied is as easy and fast as getting off the vehicle. People knew that as soon as their motorcycle got parked, it would be them who gets bullied. The obsession with abuse and harassment of those who are smaller and weaker was irrefutable.

Arrogant Driving and Violence

Countries with the most arrogant drivers notorious for never stopping or slowing down for pedestrians are also notorious for having some of the world’s highest incidences of domestic violence, rape and intentional homicide. It truly comes as no surprise that someone who wouldn’t hesitate to use their stronger build against another person who’s physically weaker, would behave in the same way on the road.

Why do you think countries with low traffic related death rate and defensive drivers who instinctively stop for pedestrians, such as Iceland, Sweden, Norway, New Zealand or Singapore are also some of the safest countries in the world? Likewise, why do you think some of the most dangerous countries in the world, such as Brazil, Mexico, Thailand, the Philippines or Cambodia also have some of the most arrogant and disrespectful drivers who would want to beat you up after running you over for not clearing your stinky self out of their precious path?

A typical scenario from a dangerous country would go something like this: you’re walking down a sidewalk minding your own business when a motorcycle forces itself right before you, cutting you off without any form of regard for your presence. Because running into you is unlikely to cause any noteworthy damage to the motorcycle but can easily crush your legs, the motorcyclist will not slow down or keep safe distance.

As a result, not only were you forced to abruptly interrupt walking, but in order to continue, you’ll have to tour around the motorcycle and step on the road. Since you’re still in a dangerous country, by stepping on the road you are getting in the way of other motorcycles and cars which will not swerve or slow down for the exact same reason why the original motorcyclist didn’t – you are a pedestrian which means you pose about as much danger to them as crippled pensioner in wheelchair does to a mob of thugs. They will pay no regard to you being in danger. They are driving so they are more dangerous than you hence if you want to avoid an encounter and save your life, it’s up to you to get out of their way. They will not and they don’t care.

The Strong vs The Weak

I have never, not once in my 36 years of life hit a girl. I haven’t even as much as raised my hand as if about to hit one. I was involved in verbal arguments and got, on a few occasions, hit by a girl myself (thought years of martial arts training made me deflect it), however being pretty well built and having a biological advantage over women by being a man (men are on average 10% taller, 20% heavier and 30% stronger than women), I have never responded by striking back.

Naturally, when I drive, I irrevocably respect all traffic participants, especially those who are in a weaker momentary position then myself. Not only do I never endanger a pedestrian or a person on a bicycle, I first and foremost make sure I don’t even restrict them in any way. The car gives me a strength advantage over pedestrians or bicyclists which presents a need to show them extra respect.

This is the very same reason which would make a gentleman open a door for a lady and assist her in getting through safely. Being a man, he has the strength advantage over a woman so he could easily force his way through the door first and rough the woman off her feet if she didn’t get off his precious way, but that’s precisely why a true gentleman would not do in the first place.

When you have something which makes you more privileged over another but give them preferential treatment because they don’t have that advantage – that’s when you show greatness as a human being. Threatening a disadvantaged person with force so you can have your right of precious passage doesn’t make you stronger. It makes you a pathetic loser with zero honor and dignity.

People who are not gentlemen and would rough their way through the door if a weaker person tried to get through at the same time are the very same people who rough their way down the road in a motor vehicle when weaker traffic participants, such as pedestrians are trying to cross safely. Their manhood issues, closed mind and selfish ego prevent them from being courteous so they act like the world spins around them and everyone needs to quit doing whatever they’re doing and bow down to their glorious presence.

Show Me How You Drive and I’ll Tell You Who You Are

I despise the strong who exploit the weak. Instead of using their gift of strength to help those who were dealt a weaker hand, they abuse it to fix their complexes by playing tough guys and oppressing the ones who are unlikely to stand up for themselves and fight back.

You can tell a lot about a man by the way he drives. Arrogant, disrespectful drivers who never slow down for pedestrians are no different than a man who beats his wife, a sixth grader who bullies a first grader, an angry fat kid who kicks a puppy on a leash, a gang of thugs with baseball bats who beat on an elderly woman in wheelchair, a soldier who sexually violates a prisoner of war or a force with tanks, unmanned drones, satellite guided missiles and billion dollar intelligence which launches attacks against nations without tanks, unmanned drones, satellite guided missiles or billion dollar intelligence.

The strong who heal their complexes by exploiting the weak exhibit a severe lack of self worth. They are bullies who feed their need to feel important and respected by preying on physically weaker or otherwise disadvantaged individuals. Since motorcycles or cars makes them bigger, stronger and more dangerous, they use them to boost up their size and with it their ego. It is therefore true that if you show me how you drive, I’ll tell you who you are.

Traffic Rules of Cambodia – Bigger Gets Right of Way

The moment you step on Cambodian roads you will notice the most prevalent traffic rule of all – Bigger Gets Right of Way. Other than this master rule, there are hardly any other rules in effect. If driving anarchy exists, it resides in Cambodia. There are no rules, only something vaguely resembling guidelines that nobody cares about. As a result, driving in Cambodia is as chaotic as education – nobody cares about doing it right, they simply slalom around to get by.

Going for a walk in Cambodia is a life threatening experience. You get used to it quickly, but until such time, you will be shocked over immense rudeness and disrespect shown by the drivers. Nobody will care about a pedestrian being part of traffic. Nobody will attempt to slow down to avoid hitting you. As pedestrian you are simply smaller than a vehicle and bigger gets right of way. Jump out of the way if you can. Your life is in stake so you better, afterall.

It’s still shocking how there is no attempt, no intention of any sort, not even as much as slowing down or trying to steer away – bigger will simply continue going straight regardless of obstacle or who by law has the right of way. That includes automobiles joining traffic from sidelines. They only look in the mirror to make sure nothing bigger than themselves is coming their way, then they will simply continue forcing their way into the lane. Everybody who is there already, including pedestrians on the side of the road better find the way to get out of the vehicle’s path if they wish to live.

There are places with pedestrian crossings (zebras) making it look like this should be the zone for pedestrians to cross the road. I’m not sure what exactly the purpose of it is and why they bothered painting those zebras on the road. Nobody, I mean absolutely no freaking body will bother to even slow down when you are waiting there trying to cross. It’s just tough luck. They are n a car or on a motorcycle – they are bigger then you, they get right of way. Because number of motorcycles on the roads is ridiculous, you will never find a blank spot in traffic so you will have to enter and dodge at your own risk until you have crossed.

But what do you think happens once you have entered the traffic? Do you think anyone on a motorcycle or in a car will try to avoid you to give you a slightest chance to get on the opposite side quickly since you are already on the road? Think again! Not even the slightest attempt to help you cross. They will continue going straight at chosen speed. No slowing down, no steering away – straight no matter what. If you want to live, find they way to dodge. They are bigger, they get right of way.

As if this was not enough, as if insanely rude drivers did not create dangerous enough roads, it gets worse than that. As I had mentioned above – nobody follows any rules. If it’s a one way street, don’t expect there will be no motorcycles coming from the opposite direction. If you are on the right side of the road (they drive on the right in Cambodia), don’t assume there will be no drivers driving in opposite direction (aka driving on the left, opposite all traffic). If you are on traffic lights and there is a green light for pedestrians (which is a cute, animated green figure that walks Michael Jackson style) don’t assume that vehicles on the red will stop or remain stopped. And most of all – don’t assume you are safe walking on a sidewalk. It’s actually even more dangerous because you don’t expect motorcycles come wizz beside you at high speeds.

Remembers, you could be cool, but to be Cambodian cool you need to break all the rules. Real Cambodian don’t stop on the red, real Cambodian doesn’t drive on the right, real Cambodian doesn’t give way. If you want to life, look after yourself. There is little to no law enforcement in Cambodia. This statement doubles for traffic. Everybody does whatever they want on the road and will take pride in showing everyone in a smaller vehicle that they rule more than you.

Cambodian Traffic Rule Hierarchy

  • Pedestrians – you will never get right of way no matter what. You are the only one who can save yourself from getting killed. Watch out!
  • Bicycles – you can safely endanger all pedestrians as they will have to jump of your way to save themselves from getting hit. You have to give way to motorcycles and car as they will show you with joy that you are smaller and they will not back down.
  • Scooters – most common means of transportation in Cambodia. You can safely ignore pedestrians and cyclists. You have to watch out for motorcycles and all cars, SUVs and trucks.
  • Motorcycles – only vehicles with more wheels than 2 get right of way. Everybody else must get off your way if they want to live
  • Tuk Tuks – even though they are basically scooters with trailer behind them which makes them excessively sluggish, they are four wheelers, hence bigger than two wheelers and get right of way
  • Cars – 80% of traffic participants will back off, because you are bigger. Vast majority of traffic vehicles in Cambodia are scooters and motorcycles. Mostly scooters. Bicycles are second most used, but not popular among those who must use them. Locals think it sucks not having a scooter.
  • SUVs – all cars and motorcycle/scooter based entourages will get out of your way. You are near untouchable on the road.
  • Trucks – among normal traffic, you rule the road. You do whatever the eff you want, you go in any direction, blend into traffic from anywhere and just plain and simple do whatever you want behind the wheel. Near everybody else is smaller, hence you win
  • Semi Trailers and Buses – you don’t watch out for anything, just go. You are the biggest shite on the road, everybody else sucks and can go eff themselves or get killed if they don’t like it. The road belongs to you.

Cambodian roads are extremely dangerous with virtually no traffic laws in effect. Hence the only one rule applies – the rule of the bigger. The bigger a vehicle you control, the more right of way you get. The smaller you are, the more you have to dodge. As a tourist, you will have to dodge.