Traffic congestion is now beginning to be a major problem and can be pointed out as one of many economic destabilizers specifically in Metro Manila. This is simply due to a lack of coordination between people and traffic rules.
Here are a number of causes:
The Surge of New Cars that Suddenly Popped Up
This is currently the most obvious reason. A former president claimed this to be a sign of economic progress. I can surmise that the sudden boom of the Grab and Uber service are in no small part responsible (though I am definitely in favor of their existence). We also can’t discount the low down payment/monthly payments promo every car dealer offers.
Public Utility Vehicles’ Inconsiderate Violation of Traffic Rules
This is especially when loading and unloading. I am 1500% sure that all of us drivers have encountered a jeepney (for example) stop in the middle of the road to take in or unload passengers not minding the long line of traffic behind. They are completely oblivious to the loudest of horns. They can’t take all the blame, though. Some private vehicles are guilty of having to break traffic rules just the same.
Undisciplined Motorcycle Drivers
And this is not exclusive to public transportation on the road. You will see motorcycles come from anywhere - counterflow, cross the sides of the intersection on a red light, pass through in between vehicles, pass through barriers or any space as long as they can fit, and even ‘walk’ the sidewalks along with people. A facepalm is in order when they do these things. With this kind of driving, I’m pretty sure having life/accident and motor vehicle insurance are in order, too.
Undisciplined Car or any Large Vehicle Drivers
Unlike motorcycles, larger vehicles can’t counterflow, cross the sides of the intersection on a red light, pass through in between vehicles, pass through barriers or any space as long as they can fit, as efficiently, but some still do anyway.
Accidents are mostly caused by the last two items mentioned above. Statistically, motorcycle-related injuries comprise 56% of the total identified transport incidents nationwide. As for the drivers, males make up the majority of road crash victims nationwide and the numbers are steadily increasing. Here are the stats from the last survey done in 2014:
Image source: Rappler
Those life/accident and motor vehicle insurances really should have a big role by now, but still won’t be an excuse to drive recklessly!
Virtually unchangeable but I’m putting this here. This happens because social norm dictates that everyone has to come to work, go to school, fill up the streets, walk, run, etc. all at 8am and do the reverse at 5pm. Any change done can debilitate our economy and society.
Poor Driver Coordination
I am also 1500% sure you’ve encountered this scenario.
Traffic jam. You are wondering what’s the cause of this. After 15-20 minutes of moving along at 10kph, you get a glimpse of a commotion from afar. There are some vehicles pulled over. It looks like a crash. They were way on the side of the road, though, not obstructing traffic anymore. After passing the scene, the road gets clear enough for every vehicle to run at 80kph again. Oh yes. the USISEROS. They’re the ones who are quick to analyze the cause of the accident - who’s wrong and what exactly happened - but not quick enough to pull away from the scene after looking at it. As if they’re immersed in some cloud of deep thought with a sense of satisfaction after figuring out the science behind. I am guilty of the same thing sometimes, forming worries in my head like, “I hope nobody’s hurt,” “If they are, I hope they have insurance,” “Too much damage. I hope the car’s insured, too.”
We can easily give some tips like: brake easily and carefully; do not tailgate; do not be an usisero; and so on, but for the convenience of easily digesting the idea, here’s a visual explanation from CGP Grey:
If only everyone has the same mindset… heaven.
We also have solution suggestions such as this available on the internet
And this has been on the internet the whole time.
Our government is currently working hard to make the traffic situation in our major cities a little bit better each day. We’ve had a share of those solutions but we still think, “this just won’t do.” The universal key is personal discipline. This will overall prevent whatever there is to prevent on the road - accidents, traffic jams, more vehicular accidents, etc. Instead of pointing fingers to who or what’s responsible for causing this, we should make the first step. After all, we have common sense as drivers - or do we? The biggest problem here is the coordination between traffic rules, the ones who should follow them, and government. How do we put them all to work?