13 Filipino Driving Habits That Drive Everyone Crazy
They say that if you can drive (and survive) in Manila, then you can definitely drive anywhere. It’s not only jeepney drivers who contribute to crazy Manila traffic, but all motorists are guilty of having bad driving habits, in general. Here are the bad driving habits that we, as Filipino drivers, have got to stop doing on the road:
13 Filipino Driving Habits That Drive Everyone Crazy
13. Swerving/Changing Lanes Too Often
For the sake of road peace, can’t we just stop changing lanes every two seconds – both while driving AND when stuck in traffic? Swerving per se does not constitute a traffic violation, but according to the MMDA, swerving constitutes a traffic violation when it is done without precautions (e.g. swerving in an abrupt and careless manner, swerving without the use of signals, swerving across solid lines).
12. Turning a Two-Lane Road into a Four-Lane Road
If it’s a two-lane road, there is NO space for four cars to be next to each other. End of story.
11. Tailgating/Speeding Up Whenever You See Another Car Planning to Go into Your Lane
This one is definitely my pet peeve. Whenever I have to change lanes, I use my indicator to tell the other drivers that I want to go left or right. For some reason, though, whenever I do that, the car from the other lane will automatically speed up and close the gap that I want to fill in. Come on! That’s like saying I shouldn’t have used my indicators at all!
10. Blocking an Intersection
At a crossing, if you can already tell that you won’t be able to make it through, DON’T GO. Just don’t. You know you’ll just cause (even more) traffic that way.
9. Not Using Seatbelts
For some reason, some people find it a hassle to use their seat elts while on the road when it actually just takes 2 seconds to fasten one. I will never understand where the inconvenience is coming from. Besides, you might get a fine for not using your seatbelt. Plus, you’re actually doing yourself a favor by protecting yourself in case accidents happen.
8. Not Respecting the Right-of-Way Rule
Yes, there is such a thing as the “right of way” on the road. If there are two cars approaching the intersection, the one coming from the right has the right of way. Also, vehicles that are approaching but are not yet inside the intersection must yield to the vehicles that are already within the intersection.
This “right of way” rule also covers letting pedestrians cross the pedestrian lane. These strange white stripes on the ground actually mean “priority to pedestrians”. They’re not there for decoration. Filipino drivers just have to stop trying to show pedestrians who’s boss. While they are within these zebra crossings, the pedestrians are, in fact, the kings of the road, except at intersections where traffic is regulated by a traffic officer or traffic signals. So, stop flashing your lights, accelerating your car and honking at pedestrians crossing at designated crosswalks. Another important point for drivers is to please, please stop right before the pedestrian crossing. Don’t block/ stop on pedestrian crossings. For pedestrians on the other hand, please use the pedestrian lanes. No to jaywalking!
Needless to say, fire trucks, police cars and ambulance always have the right of way. When these vehicles are behind you, give way.
7. Non-Stop Honking
Honking does not unblock the traffic (nope, not even incessant honking).
6. Using Hazard Lights Before Doing Something Illegal
I see cars doing this when they want to counterflow or park on the side and block the way. No sir, no ma’am, using your hazard lights doesn’t make what you’re doing legal.
5. Making a U-Turn or a Left Turn From the Rightmost Hand and Cutting Vehicles in the Inner Lanes
Really? You knew you were gonna make a u-turn or a left turn soon and you had to stay on the farthest lane from the one where you have to turn?
4. Unnecessarily Putting the Headlights on High Beam
In a two-way street, this, of course, blinds the driver on the other lane. Putting the headlights on high beam also causes trouble to cars in front of you. It only takes one glaring light to actually cause an accident. “Failure to dim headlights” actually warrants a fine/penalty according to the MMDA Rules. Let’s all please just use the high beam whenever the roads are dim.
3. Talking to Someone On the Phone/Texting/Doing Something Else While Driving
Everyone is guilty of this at one point, but let’s all please remember that, on the road, we only have one job and that is to drive. Nothing else.
2. Chitchatting with Other Drivers on the Road AND Blocking Traffic
Unless you want to tell the other driver that his wife is about to give birth and he has to go home ASAP, then there’s really no point in blocking everyone’s way for your few minutes of chismisan. Okay scrap that, even if his wife’s about to give birth, that doesn’t entitle you to cause traffic. Whatever it is that you need to tell him, text or call him after you’ve reached your destination!
1. Drunk Driving
If you think that drunk driving makes you look way cooler, then you are too young and too immature to get a driver’s license. Just to state the obvious, drunk driving can easily take away anyone’s life in an instant (yours, other drivers’ and pedestrians’ too).
Based on the new drunk driving law, drunk drivers can face penalties ranging from 3 months to 20 years in prison and fines of P20,000 to P500,000. Also, violators would have to face a 12-month suspension of non-professional driver’s license for the first offense and perpetual revocation for the second offense. For professional drivers, a first offense would result in perpetual revocation of license.
For a complete set of rules, see R.A. 4136.
What other things can you add to the list?
For things you can do to make traffic less stressful, read this: 10 Things You Can Do to Make Traffic Less Stressful