Road Safety in Preparation for December

by Jeffry T. Del Pilar, NOVEMBER 2022

Imagine our city with disciplined motorists equipped with defensive driving skills, no lives were lost, and no family left out because of the tragic road crash accident, imagine that, but unfortunately, it wasn’t. 

Almost every day there is a news report about road crash accidents that seem to be normal scenery but are actually a serious problem that we are still facing due to a swollen number of vehicles that congest our roads and highway including the construction projects and maintenance of roads by the government and private sectors. The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) reported that at least 1,010 motorcycle-related accidents were reported on Commonwealth Avenue in Quezon City alone from January to August 2022. 

This coming holiday season, it will be our first time celebrating it with ease of restrictions from the government about the Covid19 protocols. We are expecting high mobility and feel of a rush because of excitement in preparation for the upcoming holiday. 

We would like to celebrate Christmas and welcome our New Year safely and fruitful! Here are some tips on Road Safety as a gift to ourselves, family and other road users 

CHECK YOUR SPEED 

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Christmas and the new year are undoubtedly busy times of the year. Dozens of appointments and family gatherings make squeezing everything in challenging a lot of the time, so there can be a great temptation to rush about, and speed if you feel it’s necessary. This period is by far the worst time to do so, as there are hundreds of other drivers on the road doing the exact same thing as you – they’re rushing to the shops to get a last-minute present, or are late for a big family lunch. When this kind of group chaos occurs on the roads, there is understandably an increase in accidents. To avoid any kind of potential for crashes, make sure to SLOW DOWN

REGULAR REST UP 

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When traveling long distances, particularly if driving from Manila to any point in LUZON, VISAYAS, or MINDANAO to see family, there are undoubtedly moments when fatigue hits. The long, not properly lit roads make you like being sleepy and it’s all too easy to close your eyes for just a moment too long. Thankfully, there are gasoline stations and 24-hours food chains that are designed to prevent this from occurring. So if you think you need a little rest while driving, make sure to find one. But of importantly, you really need to have a good rest before you do a long drive. 

THINK BEFORE YOU DRINK 

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After a boozy Christmas lunch, it can be tempting to drive the short trip back home to have a well-deserved nap. Even if you believe you haven’t consumed much alcohol, it doesn’t take very much to impair judgment. Sobering up takes a lot longer than you might think, so a big lunch might not make up for the several bottles of beer or wine you might have consumed while overcome with the Christmas spirit. Tea and water won’t be able to sober you up. It’s best to plan your way home and get a grab or taxi (safer than a motorcycle taxi) back home to nap it off if you think you might want to have a few drinks with lunch. 

TIPS FOR OLDER DRIVERS 

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Driving helps older adults stay mobile and independent. However, the risk of being injured or killed in a motor vehicle crash increases as people age. Thankfully, if you are an older driver, there are steps you can take to stay safe on the road. 

  1. Ask your doctor or pharmacist to review medicines – both prescription and over-the-counter to reduce side effects and interactions that could affect your ability to drive safely, especially at night. 
  1. Have your eyes checked by an eye doctor at least once a year? Wear glasses and corrective lenses as directed. 
  1. Plan your route before you drive. Use the navigation app for your car if you are still capable 😊 
  1. Find the safest route with well-lit streets, intersections with left-turn signals, and easy parking. 

Be SAFE, HEAVEN can WAIT! 

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Do not drive when you are impaired by alcohol and/or drugs and do not allow your family members or friends to drive while impaired. In 2019, alcohol-impaired driving contributed to more than 10,100 crash deaths.4 Impairment by any type of legal or illicit drug—not just alcohol—can increase crash risk. If you drink alcohol and/or use drugs, designate a sober driver, call a taxi, or use a ride-share service to protect yourself and others on the road. 

Avoid distractions while driving, such as using your cell phone to text, email, or access social media. Sending or reading a text takes your eyes off the road for at least five seconds. At 55 miles per hour, that is like driving the length of an entire football field external icon with your eyes closed. Safe driving requires your full attention. 

Check the weather conditions before you head out on the road. Make sure to drive at a speed that is safe for road and weather conditions.

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About the writers:

Jeffry T. Del Pilar. I am not a fan of titles, positions, or work hours to define leadership… It is about the correct mindset and relationship with the people.

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