Stay alert, follow the speed limit, pay attention to traffic signs, follow the rules, watch out for blind curves, etc. are driving tips that we’ve always been hearing since the invention of the motor vehicle.
These are not tips I should be writing about because we already know these things and since we treat them as merely head knowledge, we tend to take them for granted. Thus, accidents still occur and are growing in numbers year after year. Hurray for more stats.
On the contrary, I know I should write about the safety tips above just to remind you of how important they are but we’re going to do things differently this time.
Accidents spell trouble. The word accident itself means ‘an unfortunate incident that happens unexpectedly and unintentionally.” What this list has now is how to intentionally get yourself into real trouble.
Note: We have a long list of ways to make things worse but these are all for now.
It’s safe when everyone’s driving slowly, right? Definitely. It saves lives according to some ‘experts’ in this article. But what if it’s just you who’s driving slowly?
This article says that the main problem on roads that causes accidents is the differences in speed, rather than speed itself. This topic is subject to much more debate but to shine light on each side, why not just picture yourself in this scenario:
You are in SLEX, driving at 70kph, which is way slower than the high speed limit of 100kph. You cause every driver behind you frustration especially when you are on the leftmost lane, where every vehicle should move fast.
Out of that frustration, they overtake you. Some just pass by but most of them, tries to cut you to teach you some manners. As we supposedly know, changing lanes a lot in a given distance causes an uneven flow of traffic, increasing the risk of collision.
You caused everyone behind you to speed up and change lanes. Does this look like an ideal road scenario to you? When everyone’s driving at exactly 100kph, vehicle-to-vehicle spacing is consistent and collision is very unlikely even at high speeds.
Drive slowly on roads that require a high speed limit if you want to cause trouble for others - yourself and everyone in your car may be included. Unless the limit is low, go with the flow.
Placing your Thumb UNDER - not ON - the Steering Wheel when Driving
This one causes injuries, not accidents. It’s a given that we should hold tight on the steering wheel for perfect control. But just imagine yourself holding onto that wheel during an accident when your hands need to slip off because of immense force coming from the impact. Common sense dictates that the force of every vehicle impact is strong enough to bend the metal body of your vehicle. That kind of energy gets transferred to your seat, passing through your body, then to your arms, and finally, to the hands that hold the wheel. When your flesh-and-bone thumbs that are clamped under the steering wheel can’t break free for some reason, what will happen to them?
Avoiding Shards of Broken Glass on the Road
Compared to the less visible metal pointy objects such as nails, you can see these things better on the road and that’s quite a disadvantage. Do you know how running over them affects your tires? Most of the time, they don’t, thanks to steel-belted radials-- these tires are one of the best innovations of the 21st century. They are substantially resistant to punctures and leaks, and has improved the mileage between tire replacements relatively better than radial ply tires. Your act of avoiding broken glass at a high speed - out of surprise and the confusion that arises from it - will more likely cause an accident than just running them over.
Feel free to drive on broken glass for the maximum pleasure of hearing a satisfying crunch. However, certain types of broken glass can cause damage to the tires allowing them to fail prematurely. I’ll deem that better than a vehicle turn turtle!
Driving with your Interior Lights on
While this is legal, there is a reason why you don’t do this during evening drives. Your own reflection becomes much visible than the road, right? But hey, much more compelling is the reason why you don’t do this in the morning! If it’s more important for you to see what’s inside rather than what’s outside then the best scenario for you is to end up in the gutter!
Creating Conversations that Cause Stress
This includes topics that are enough to make drivers think more than they should. All the time, the driver has to have every bit of space in his head occupied with just driving - eyes on the road, ears outside, nose pointing forward, and hands on the wheel. In the past, I remember making wrong turns while talking to my passengers about topics I’m interested in. And that’s just talking. Not everyone, but there are drivers are like me who can be easily distracted with conversations, especially ones that requires much thinking or causes an immediate burst of emotion. To top that, we live in these modern times when driving is aided with technology. There’s GPS, better entertainment system, etc. and that means more sources of distraction. Talking over the phone using hands free devices are equally distracting in some cases. It is a really good thing to have the Anti Distracted Driving Law implemented to minimize the risk of road accidents.
Passengers, think twice before giving your driver stress. Subukan niyo lang din awayin. Hawak niya kayo sa leeg.
Not Having Auto and Accident Insurance
At least once in your driving lifetime, you will be involved in an accident. It may not be the kind that inflicts major bodily injuries but the damages on your vehicle, big or small, are still there to afflict your finances. The number of vehicles on the road steadily increases every year - cars, motorcycles, even the smaller e-bikes. The more vehicles on road, the higher the chance that they will come in contact. The more time you spend on the road, the higher the exposure to road dangers. The more entries you send, the more chances of winning.
With vehicle related accidents going up every year, there is really no excuse not having to prepare for these unfortunate events. Nowadays, not having accident insurance - or at least auto insurance - is deemed unwise. You don’t want to be caught in a guilt-ridden situation just because you thought not getting insurance will save you money. What if the injuries you sustain requires you to lose all of your savings? What if the vehicle you’re spending half of your monthly salary on gets totalled? At the very least, have something to claim when these happen.
But if it’s really your intention to get broke for whatever reason, then by all means, don’t buy insurance. Chances are, one road crash will have you crawling in the streets afterwards.
It does not matter whether you are an experienced driver or a newbie - trouble will come to you unexpectedly, but more likely when you ask for it. Statistics show that a lot of experienced drivers still get involved in vehicular accidents. It is hard to fathom that in spite of all the known consequences arising from known causes, some people still induce trouble. This being said, the safest known solution for controllable and uncontrollable things alike is to be prepared.