15 reasons it’s extremely stressful to drive a car in Egypt

How bad is driving in Egypt, particularly Cairo? 15 reasons it’s extremely stressful to drive a car in Egypt
  1. Bumpy roads

    Most Egyptian roads have bumps, holes and cracks. If you are not used to driving on a bumpy road, then the driving experience in Egypt can be very tiring, especially if you eat something right before getting in the car.

  2. Strange things on the road

    It’s not uncommon to see a horse carriage, a man riding a donkey or Toktoks (cars that have 3 wheels; the combination of a car’s concept and a motorbike) on the road.

  3. New holes appear all the time

    Because of irresponsible construction and weak law reinforcements, a new hole might appear on a road overnight. If you are used to avoiding certain ones on your way to somewhere, a new one might surprise you anyway.

  4. Traffic lines are for decoration

    Egyptians don’t use traffic lines and merely consider them a decorative element. Cars swing from right to left and left to right all the time without any prior notice.

  5. Pedestrians are anything but predictable

    Pedestrians on Egyptian roads are anything but predictable. They appear out of nowhere, run from one side to another without prior notice and usually don’t use pedestrian crossing areas. At any moment, you can find someone running across the street extremely fast.

  6. Micro-buses – the cars of death

    Taxi drivers in Egypt call micro-buses ‘the cars of death’. People driving micro-buses are usually extremely reckless. Most drivers move away from their path as soon as they see them.

  7. People leave 2 cm between cars

    In Egypt, drivers keep their cars extremely close that they almost touch. If you try to leave a good distance between your car and the one in front of you, another car will fill that space in a second.

  8. Homeless children and beggars

    All countries have homeless people and beggars but they don’t stand in the middle of busy streets. In Egypt, most busy traffic areas have beggars and homeless children standing in the middle of the road hoping to get a pound or two from each car that passes.

  9. Traffic lights are random

    Sometimes traffic lights work and sometimes they don’t. In some streets, after 12 pm, traffic lights are kept red and don’t change until the next morning. The fact that rules change from time to time can make it extremely frustrating to drive in Egypt. (See What does the Diamond Shaped Traffic Sign Mean?)

  10. Some drivers use horns to scare away others

    Some drivers, especially the ones driving micro-buses, keep using their car horns aggressively to scare away those blocking the road or the ones who are driving slowly. Out of fear, many people move aside only to discover that a micro-bus is just in a hurry.

  11. People race all the time

    It’s very common for cars to decide to race all of a sudden in Egyptian streets. This usually happens when a driver bypasses another in a way that humiliates him. This driver usually starts to race with the one that bypassed him, and shortly, lots of cars join the race.

  12. Defensive driving all the time

    In some countries, some people take defensive driving courses to learn how to drive in tough conditions. Egyptians use defensive driving all the time since cars always threaten each other by coming very close all of a sudden.

  13. Total randomness

    Because there are almost no rules for driving in Egyptian streets, anything can happen. The fact that driving in Egypt is totally random makes drivers extremely focused all the time and this can lead to a lot of stress.

  14. You can’t keep your lane for more than a minute

    It’s almost impossible to keep your lane in Egyptian streets. Within seconds you will usually be forced to move from one lane to another because of speeding cars or reckless drivers.

  15. Survival of the fittest

    Cars in Egypt usually keep coming closer to each other until the one who gets scared stops to allow the other to pass. Driving in Egypt requires a lot of courage, a strong heart and total indifference to car accidents. (See Why Do People Drink and Drive?)

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