How can we help keep our roads safe?
As of February 2019, there are approximately 7,436,731 driving licenses and permits issued by the LTO. There were at least 11,000,000 motor vehicles registered in February 2018. In Metro Manila alone, the number of reported car accidents last year was 225,797 of which 51.91% were car accidents. (Source: The 2019 LTO Report)
The roads of Metro Manila these days are teeming with more private cars, motorcycles, buses, taxis, pedicabs, tricycles and jeepneys every year. MMDA is constantly challenged by these numbers and the fact that not many drivers are educated about road safety and many have thrown the habit of road ethics out of the window in order to get to their destinations on time. But no one gets to where they are going on time anymore. Not in Metro Manila. A journey that takes you 30 minutes has now become a 3-hour journey. Much of one's productivity is often sacrificed by Manila's traffic problem. Even CNN has named Metro Manila as the world's 3rd worst city for driving!
MMDA recently limited all cars to be driven at 60 kph. It could work. However, road ethics or the old 'bigayan' system must be encouraged by all motorists, when caught in a convoluted traffic scenario. A proper road ethic must be encouraged for all new drivers to learn and propagate, amongst other things.
But how exactly can we drive safely? Here are a few obvious points that many of us seem to take lightly. So here are 10 tips on how to practice safe driving:
- Regularly check you car's condition. Make it an absolute habit to ensure that your car is road-worthy by checking its tire pressure, that it has enough oil and brake fluid, the mirrors are properly angled, if the brakes are still tight and if the air filter is clean.
- Always put a seat belt on. Whether you are travelling on a short daily commute route or are driving to the countryside, it is imperative that you put your seat belt on. This simple practice is an effective way to protect you and your passengers, especially during car collisions, as it spreads the force of the impact over a wider area of the body and puts less stress on any one part. According to the MMDA, failure to use a seat belt could cost you a fee of between P250 (first offense) to P1,000 and a 1 week suspension of your driver’s license (third offense). According to the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, putting a seat belt on reduces the risk of fatal injury by up to 45 percent.
- Always use signals when turning. Do have some consideration for others behind you by letting them know your next move. Do not, however, use signals improperly such as using hazard lights when parking your car indiscriminately while waiting for someone. Be mindful that this is one of the worst driving practices that most of us do. Be wary, considerate, patient and practice road courtesy. You will find that if every body wants to be ahead of everyone, it will surely lead to road blocks.
- Don’t text and drive. This is an obvious mistake for many drivers and it could lead to very fatal consequences.
- Respect traffic rules. Again, traffic rules are there to keep all motorists safe on the roads.
- Do not change lanes too often. Changing lanes too often and swerving is a dangerous maneuver and in most cases leads to collisions. We often find that this move is tempting, but make sure that there is enough time and space for you to maneuver to.
- Do not drive under the influence of alcohol, or when you are feeling drowsy.
- Always check the speed limit. Never go above the speed limit in the area, even if the traffic is very light. Countryside roads have them in place, especially on blind side spots, to lessen the probability of collisions. When the road is slippery, do not hesitate to slow down. Checking our speedometer constantly will ensure we are moving at the prescribed speed.
- Always check your blind spots.Mirrors give you three points to determine if the coast is clear. We also need to turn our heads to confirm this. Speeding vehicles may hit you within a span of seconds if you make the wrong move.
- Lastly, do respect pedestrian lanes. Pedestrians have specialized lanes to cross and stopping for them for a few seconds will not stop you from arriving at your destination. Road courtesy - simple gesture of thanks when the other driver yields makes so much difference. Driving with a positive state of mind surely contributes to safer roads!
So, there! A few basic points have been laid out so each and everyone in Manila experiences better traffic. And for as long as each and everyone of us is accountable to our own actions on the road, there will be less road rage, less traffic congestion and more time to enjoy your journey!
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If you would like to speak to someone to inquire about ERA, please leave us an email or request a call back and a Ford representative will be in touch as soon as possible.
Furthermore, if you are an OFW and are interested to buy a Ford vehicle, we can assist you via the FORD OFW ASSIST service, which will enable you and your family to go through the process of buying seamlessly, even if you are still abroad.
Some of the details above were extracted from the official website of Metro Manila Development Authority and from Carmudi Philippines Journal.