In recent years, the issue of road safety in the Philippines has garnered much noise and resulted in much concern and discussion.
How dangerous is driving in the Philippines?
Accidents happen on Philippine roads for numerous reasons, many of which are preventable: drunk driving, texting or talking to someone on the phone while driving, violating traffic rules, overtaking and overspeeding, and so on. As a result, an estimated 12,000 Filipinos die on the road each year, based on numbers from the World Health Organization (WHO).
Metro Manila in particular has seen an alarming increase in vehicular accidents over the last few years. According to the Metro Manila Accident Reporting and Analysis System (MMARAS) annual report conducted by the MMDA-TEC-Road Safety Unit, vehicular accidents in the region nearly doubled in a decade, from 63,072 accidents in 2007 to 110,025 recorded cases ten years later. Other disturbing 2017 numbers: 434 crashes led to deaths, 9,374 resulted in non-fatal injuries, and a whopping 94,097 resulted in property damage.
Numbers from the Philippine Statistics Authority also paint a dire picture, particularly with regard to children. About 600 Filipino children die on the road annually, a number that has risen sharply since 2010. WHO’s 2018 Global Status Report on Road Safety identified road traffic injury as the top killer of children and young adults (from 5 to 29 years of age) across the globe.
How can we make driving in the Philippines safer?
With approximated 301 vehicular accidents (or about 12 every hour) taking place in Metro Manila alone, it’s important that motorists take the necessary precautions for better road safety.
- Stay focused while on the road. Put away your mobile phone for a bit while you’re driving, and resist the urge to call, text, or even use social media. A few seconds of your eyes being off the road could mean the difference between life and death.
- Don’t drink and drive. Make sure that you’re of sound and clear mind once you take the wheel. If you’ve consumed alcohol at any point in time before driving, ask a friend to drive you instead.
- Wear your seatbelt. It’s surprising just how many people forget this simple but incredibly life-saving rule. Make sure that you and your passengers are using them properly.
- Make sure that your knowledge and expertise of driving merits a license. Know the laws, rules, and regulations before you even apply for a license.
- Abide by the traffic rules and regulations—and keep your cool. Road rage never helped anyone, and it certainly won’t help you.
While an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, it wouldn’t hurt to prepare and be sure. Find out how you can get insurance for yourself and your motor car.