1. Wear your seatbelt. Aside from the fact that being caught not wearing one is an offense to the country based on R.A. 8750, it is also a highly proven deterrent to further bodily injuries when accidents happen. Seatbelts prevent our bodies from being thrown towards the dashboard and windshield when sudden collissions and road mishaps happen. Let us not make the traffic enforcers apprehend us to be reminded to wear one.
2. Be mindful of your route/always have a map with you. Street maps and early preparations are a driver's best friends. Do not go out driving in the metro not know how to get to your destinations. You should first research or look for a map/route guide to see how far, how long, and how difficult your travel will be. Here in Metro Manila Directions, we provide sufficient routes for drivers on each article via our "for private vehicles" section.
3. Take note of number coding days. Knowing number coding is as basic as learning A-B-C for toddlers. Always remember on what day your vehicle cannot be used based on the MMDA number coding scheme and city ordinances and just commute. If you do not know how to get into your destination by commute, just contact us on our feedback page or email us at feedback AT metromaniladirections.com. We respond really fast.
4. Adhere to basic traffic rules. Stop at the red light. No swerving. No U-Turn. One Way. No Entry. Stick to your lane. Pedestrians first (at ALL times). Respect bicycle lanes. Don't drive on the yellow lane in EDSA. No blowing of horns. School Zone. No Parking. No loading/unloading.
6. Gas stations are like safety pit stops. If you get lost or would just like to rest, head on for the next gas station that you find. This gas station is your safety net especially when driving at night. Do not just stop in the middle of the road - patrol cars might apprehend you or bad people might take advantage of your vulnerability.
8. Avoid buses, trucks, and jeepneys. Buses, especially ordinary buses, are known to be running faster than expected so the collision's effect is tremendous when it happens. Trucks, on the other hand, usually carry full loads and will not be able to stop abruptly if they're about to hit you. A little swerve from either of these can cause your smaller vehicle to fly. Jeepneys would stop whenever it wants so avoid speeding on the lane where it is passing by or else you won't be able to notice if it stops or not (usually they're rear stop lights are busted).
9. Precautionary tools are a must. Make sure you have the following: spare tires; emergency reflectors (those triangle signs you use when you get stuck on the road); at least two contact numbers of towing or assistance agencies; number at home, office, and police station; a bottle of water; a photocopy of your official papers; street map; umbrella, and a piece of rug or cloth. These items will be helpful as the need arises. Just make sure you all have them.
P.S. Once you've followed the ten tips above, the next thing for you to master is how to drive defensively. The basic rule is this: when driving, you should have the mindset (true or not true) that most, if not all, drivers around you will be stupid, reckless, and disobedient. They will try to cut lanes, turn without signaling, beat the red light, stop whenever they want, etc. So, the best thing for you to do is to be mindful of your surroundings.
Another note: If there is one place in Metro Manila where drivers would think more than twice before visiting, that would be Makati. The city is known to have very strict implementation of traffic rules and ordinances. A very concrete example is the number coding scheme. The general provision states that vehicles whose plate numbers are prohibited on a certain day is permitted to be on the road from 10am-3pm (as window hour); in Makati, there is no such thing. One has to really commute going to the city if he or she can't wake up early and go there before 7am. The city is also plagued with one-way streets which serves as one of the major reasons for being apprehended and the license being confiscated.
Check out how the Japanese drivers say thank you on the road. *photos are from Google Images
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