Driving Vietnamese roads inflicts psychological trauma

By Minh Trung   March 7, 2024 | 06:09 pm PT
Driving Vietnamese roads inflicts psychological trauma
People drive on a street in Hanoi in 2023. Photo by VnExpress/Ngoc Thanh
My good morning turned sour when I encountered a man who spit indiscriminately while driving.

A few months ago, on my way to work in the morning, I was driving smoothly when I saw the man in front of me repeatedly turning his head to the right.

Guessing his intention, I tried to dodge him but couldn't make it in time. He spat and I received a face full of spit.

It was a bad morning.

I was extremely upset, but tried to calm down. I pulled the motorbike over and took out a tissue to wipe my face.

I thought about coming back home for a proper clean-up, but my house was quite far away. If I returned, I wouldn't be able to get to work on time.

I was upset that entire day.

Driving on Vietnamese roads – in addition to the risk of collisions and injuries ranging from severe to mild – psychological injuries are also more or less traumatic. The reason is other people's poor awareness, like what I suffered. This can also come in the form of people littering, or smoking while driving and throwing cigarette butts that hit people behind them.

Other times, psychological trauma comes from aggression and disregard for the rules. A female colleague of mine once told me that a man on a motorbike once cut her off and then even swore at her with unpleasant words. She didn't really understand what happened, and was in shock for a whole week. She was scared of going out in the street for a time after that.

There was also recently a video shared online of a young man in a car stopping a deliveryman riding a motorbike and kicking him.

The car driver later told authorities that he thought the deliveryman had collided with his car, so he beat him. The deliveryman was not injured, but I think there were probably psychological aftereffects.

Sometimes it’s stressful just driving on the streets, having to watch back and forth, left and right, to look out for all the possible risks.

I think traffic in big cities is inherently overloaded and stressful. But no matter how much roads are expanded, problems will arise if people drive in selfish ways. This problem can only be resolved when all drivers comply with the law and behave politely.

The opinions expressed here are personal and do not necessarily match VnExpress's viewpoints. Send your opinions here.
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