Staying safe on the road

All sorts of vehicular incidents – accidents, carnapping, carjacking, road holdups – have been headlines in the past few days. The world has gone madder. Tsk tsk.

Just yesterday on the way home, the kids and I passed by a vehicular accident which, I later learned, involved a bus swiping a lady (who died on the spot). It happened along Commonwealth Avenue, one of the widest (and also deadliest) highways in the Philippines. It’s no place for wandering ala-HHWWPSSP* –  definitely not for jaywalkers!

The other day, someone shared this story on Facebook about an M.O. of road criminals. They’d act like concerned citizens and signal you that something is wrong with your car. You stop to check, and there – you’ve given them a foothold.

How do we stay safe on the road? We know these already but we need to be reminded every so often. Women drivers – hello, fellow tsupermoms – are especially vulnerable.

Follow traffic rules. Wear your seatbelt. Don’t overspeed. Bikeriders, wear helmets. Don’t jaywalk; use pedestrian lanes and footbridges. Road rules are meant to keep us alive.

Stay alert. Don’t just stop when somebody asks you to. Even in checkpoints, a driver has the right to remain inside the car. You are not obligated by law to get out of the car.

If you figure in an accident, especially at night and in a deserted place, call for help and wait inside the car for help to come. Dial 117, the Philippine emergency number, on your mobile phone. In my own experience with 117, the response is fast.

At the parking lot, look around as you walk towards your car to check if you’re being followed. Always lock car doors. I’ve read somewhere that it is always best to park NOT facing the wall so you immediately have a view of the front. Don’t idle and stay inside the car too long.

Keep your car well-maintained. This way, there are lesser chances it would get stalled or break down. Get car insurance (whether it’s a comprehensive or cheap car insurance), because we never know when accidents happen.

Keep your cool. So the slow car just cut into your lane; let it go. Just move out of it’s lane and keep driving. In my case, I may utter some expletives and that’s it. There are a lot of a-hole drivers in Metro Manila, but they’re not worth ruining your day for.

Sometimes, we tend to relax and forget the basic stuff. And then things like these happen so we’re jerked back into reality. Don’t wait for it to happen to you. Take measures to stay safe on the road.



*holding hands while walking, pa-sway sway pa! (O ha, so 80s!)

**Nope, this isn’t an advert for that pain reliever with that cutie actor who bids everyone “Ingat!”

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