Driving in Singapore is not as easy as it seems.
Even experienced drivers may at times find the traffic situations here hard to deal with.
If you’ve driven in countries such as New Zealand, Germany and the US, you might even find driving habits here maddening.
And for newbie drivers, driving in Singapore alone for the first time may seem too daunting to attempt.
Don’t fret. Apart from defensive driving, here are a few driving tips to help you get ahead.
1) Filtering lanes requires careful planning and swift execution!
Motorists here specialise in preventing other cars from filtering into their lane.
We’ve all experienced this driving in Singapore.
The driver in the other lane may be 3-4 car lengths away but it won’t matter.
He or she will speed up to block your manoeuvre.
The solution: Constantly scan the traffic around you and when it is safe, immediately signal and filter to the next lane.
Also, make sure you can scan the traffic around you without moving your vehicle from the middle of its lane.
Any small movement to the left or right gives away your intention.
Swop lanes without delay! This gives the inconsiderate buffoon no time to react!
2) Overtaking sometimes means doing it from the left
Yes, driving in Singapore forces motorists to be “creative”.
In reality, overtaking from the left is not safe/recommended.
But what’s a driver to do when there’s a road hog blocking the rightmost lane.
The solution? Scan the lanes to the left and when it is safe, filter left.
Obviously, this only works when the middle and left lanes are mostly unoccupied.
Again, we reiterate that this is not safe or recommended.
But it is a necessity when driving in Singapore.
3) How to choose the “right” lane
You want to overtake slower traffic but are hemmed in by even slower road hogs in the rightmost lane.
There’s this feeling of suay-ness that you’re always in the “wrong” or slower lane.
The solution? Practice situational awareness and scanning the roads ahead.
In fact, scan as far ahead as you can see.
This helps you anticipate other motorists’ behaviours and see movement patterns.
For example, you see a lot of slow cars occupying the rightmost lane up to 2km away.
You’ll immediately know that you should filter left and thread your way through from there.
When driving in Singapore on smaller roads, pay attention to taxis and people by the side of the road.
Taxis cruising slowly are a sign that the driver could be looking for street hails.
Or, the cabby could be trying to find an address.
Either way, you’ll know to avoid these drivers when driving in Singapore
Once you get the hang of it, you’ll be able to stay in the “right” lane more often than not.