My husband got involved in a vehicle mishap on the morning of New Year’s Day. While driving along a dimly lit section of the McArthur Highway in Tarlac City, an SUV hit him from behind, making his vehicle spin three times.
It was very fortunate there were no incoming vehicles in the opposite lane.
From the sudden screeching of tires my husband heard prior to the collision, it was evident the SUV driver did his best to prevent the accident from materializing. His efforts, however, were not enough.
Adding insult to injury, as it was dawn and there weren’t any people around – probably asleep from the New Year’s Eve festivities – the SUV driver took off as soon as he got the chance, leaving my husband and his motorcycle in the middle of the road, not bothering to find out if my husband was okay or not.
All is well that ends well?
My husband, recovering from the initial shock, decided to single-handedly push his vehicle out of the road. Save for being badly shaken, he came out of the accident totally unscathed. Later, repair to the damaged vehicle cost him about 2,500 pesos.
The responsible motorist
Unfortunately, there are many drivers just like the driver of that SUV littering Philippine roads nowadays – irresponsible, reckless, with no regard for others. Okay, so the SUV driver tried to stop and avoid hitting my husband. For that, I’ll give him an A for effort.
Still, he didn’t check on him and help him out of the highway, which was the correct thing to do given that the accident he so tried to avoid still happened.
In this regard, it is imperative, therefore, for drivers to constantly be aware of their surroundings whenever they are on the road. Here are some road safety tips to keep in mind when driving:
- Fasten your seatbelt. Follow manufacturer instructions when using child safety seats. If you’re driving a motorcycle, put on a helmet and other protective gear.
- Keep your hands on the wheel. Pull over if you need to use your cell phone. Don’t apply make-up, shave or eat while driving.
- Be on the lookout for pedestrians, motorists, children playing and other vehicles, especially when crossing an intersection.
- Follow the speed limit. When road and weather conditions are not ideal, slow down.
- Make sure there’s enough space around your vehicle to stop or maneuver in an emergency.
- Check your blind spot all the time. Before changing lanes, look in your mirrors. Also, be aware of other drivers’ blind spots by asking yourself the question, “Can they see me?”
- When in doubt, yield the right-of-way to the other driver.
- Practice courtesy. Share the road. Don’t make sudden lane changes or cut people off.
- Obey traffic instructions. A red light means to COMPLETELY stop. A yellow light is a signal to clear the intersection, not to beat the light.
- Make yourself visible by using your headlights. Make sure that your tail lights are in good working order.
- Make use of your signal lights so others know what you intend to do.
- Don’t follow too closely.
- Medication, fatigue and alcohol can affect your driving. Drive only when you’re in full control of your faculties.
- Keep your vehicle well-maintained.
You’ve heard this before, and it pays to hear it again: When on the road, it’s better to be safe than sorry.
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