Driving Etiquette: 5 Tips for Driving Safely in the Philippines

by / Monday, 12 May 2014 / Published in Automotive Advice

Safe Driving

Driving safely in the Philippines is probably a tall order, although I bet Vietnam have it way worse. But as human beings, we want to ensure our safety on the road by minimizing the risk of getting into horrible accidents where metal parts collide and cause dangerous impacts. No matter who you are, what you drive or where you’re headed, your safety is always utmost priority. Here are five tips to stay safe when driving in Philippine roads.

Never use hi-beam unless necessary

It’s annoying and it’s dangerous. On the road, a glaring light is all it takes to get someone injured, or worse, killed. Only use it whenever the road is too dim or when you have to warn pedestrians of your incoming vehicle.  There have been tragic news where a heated argument because of inappropriate use of hi-beam ended up with a little girl being shot. Be responsible with your car’s features for its use can be the fine line between life and death.

Adjust according to speed limits

That means if the sign says you have to maintain your speed at 100km/h, you have to maintain your speed at 100 kilometers per hour – no more, no less. This tip should be especially heeded when driving under the rain. A glaring example would be the bus that fell from a bridge when it tried to rummage its way under the persistent rain. With the driver losing control of the vehicle, the bus swerved until it fell on an unfortunate public utility van, claiming a lot of passengers in its wake.

Put a safe distance between your car and the one before you

It is a preventive measure to ensure that you won’t be touching bumpers when something goes wrong. One of the common road mishaps is when a driver misjudges his distance and end up hitting the bumper of the vehicle in front or behind him. It’s a headache, although a minor one when compared to other road accidents, but it will still cause a heated argument a couple of dents to your wallet.

Check your rearview/side mirror before changing lanes

One thing about the Philippines is that it’s swarmed by motorists. Unfortunately, most of these motorists take advantage of their limber vehicles and try to overtake the moment they see an opening. This thinking has led to a startling amount of vehicular accidents every day.  Whenever you would try to switch lanes, always check your rearview mirror and side mirror for incoming motorcycles in order to avoid the unwanted consequences of vehicular accidents, whether you’re the victim or not.

Use proper turn signals at the right time

What I really wish other drivers would start practicing regularly is the proper use of signals. Not only does it keep you safe, but it also minimizes the burden of traffic. Being able to see what the driver before you intends to do will allow us to come up with decisions on the fly whether to overtake or stay the course.

Alas, the problem with signals is not confined by using them, but also by the correct use. Some drivers generate hate from fellow drivers for using signals way too soon or too late, which causes miscommunication or unwanted collisions. In order to avoid this, always gauge the location where you intend to turn and make sure you are using the correct signal at the right time.

Although the traffic and the routes in the Philippines will test you, these tips are enough to keep you safe on the road while enjoying your time in the Philippines either as a local or a visitor. Remember to always keep your composure whenever you’re driving wherever you are. Drive Safe!

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