New Year's resolution for drivers

Just for the first 4 months of this year alone, over 10,000 accounts of road accidents were recorded by PNP-HPG. Now that it’s almost 2017, rest assured that the data could have grown by more than double.

As we are only a few days away from bidding this year goodbye, we thought it is best to welcome next year with a more disciplined driving habit. With that being said, here’s one way your New Year’s resolution list should look like – car owner-style.

I will always use the seatbelts

In case you didn’t know, seatbelts play the first line of safety in driving, and putting one on makes a huge difference in a matter of life and death. Even with the presence of airbags, your body is less likely to stay on your seat without seatbelts securing you in place.

As a matter of fact, most fatal accidents, such as the ones where drivers and passengers bolt pass the car’s windshield, are results of driving without seatbelts on. 

More so, a fine of 250 for first offense, ranging to 1,000 with week-long suspension, is supported by Republic Act 8750 (Seat Belt Law) for undisciplined drivers.

I will always obey the speed limit

We know how it feels when adrenaline while driving kicks in (don’t worry; we feel it too from time to time). However, it is safe to think thoroughly before acting Dominic Toretto on the road, and get pull over by the “cops, cops, cops!” – worse, be the cause of a fatal accident.

Of note, the general speed in the Philippines is 60 km/h to a maximum 100 km/h in expressways. This varies depending on what type of road you are on. Fines for over-speeding ranges from P1,200 to P2,000, depending on the city ordinance.

I will not overtake on double-yellow lines

The most tempting thing to do on the road, especially when there’s traffic congestion, is overtaking. While most drivers are guilty of this, it is very wise to understand the meaning of yellow lines.

Yellow lines mean vehicles on the side where the yellow line is placed are not allowed to overtake – make it double, traffic on both sides of the road are prohibited to do so. Double yellow lines are typically seen, but not exclusive, on expressway exits and blind-curve roads.

I will not counterflow

Another thing impatient drivers are guilty of doing is counterflowing. Aside from the fact that it is very risky to do, it also brings inconvenience to other motorists, not only to the oncoming vehicles, but even to your side of the road.

Moreover, counterflow violation is punishable by MMDA Reg. No. 97 – 003 with a fine of P2,000 and suspension ranging from 3 month to a complete revocation of driver’s license.

I will not beat red lights

If you have your driver’s license with you and have enough experience in driving for years, we assume you know what the three colors of the traffic lights mean. What we don’t get is some drivers still go pass red lights – like really? Where did these guys get their licenses?

But seriously, even when there is no traffic police presence, be a better driver this coming year; don’t be a road bull (we all know bulls hate red).

In addition, reckless beating of red lights could risk, not only other vehicles on green light, but also people crossing the streets. The consequences of hitting pedestrians are real - both civil and criminal liabilities await.

I will use side mirrors

No, side mirrors are not vanity mirrors. There’s a reason why they are placed just within your line of sight: so you can take a glance of what’s behind you where you could easily get your eyes back at the road.

While there are no existing violation charges for not using your side mirrors, it is one of the key factors sparking serious road and parking accidents. All the more, you can minimize side sweeps, reverse-parking collisions, and sudden brake accidents if you know how to properly use them.

I will use the turn signal lights

We believe we can all agree that the most irritating drivers are the ones who, for some reason, have a driver’s license but ignorant about left and right indicators. If ever you are one, why not take this year’s transition to revise your habit of turning without warning? This doesn’t just save your car from unwanted scratches but will also save the lives of smaller vehicle drivers, especially motorcyclist.

While most diet resolutions over the past years revealed ineffective for some, we hope that these items could help refine the inappropriate habits of every road users, from motorcycles to full-sized 18-wheeler trucks. Happy New Year!

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