8 of the Worst Habits to Have on the Road
By Enzo Marcos
Manila Traffic. You’d be hard pressed to find words other than “death and taxes” that are more horrifying. Manila traffic doesn’t just stall you, it sucks the life out of you. It leaves you traumatized and bewildered. How many of us have teetered on the edge of sanity during one particularly terrible iteration of Carmageddon? Yes, we even have a catchy nickname for traffic. How cute is that?
The list of annoying things about Manila traffic could go on and on, but here are 8 things that people do on the road that just makes driving in Manila akin to pulling teeth. With the way we Filipinos drive, this could be a weekly segment. OR A SHOW.
8. Turning THEN signaling
The proper way to do things, ladies and gents, is to let your intentions be known BEFORE taking action. You’ve probably heard the phrase “Ask for forgiveness, not permission.” Well, that doesn’t apply when you’re on the road. Other people need to know what you are gonna do before you do it to avoid mishaps.
That little lever on the left side of the steering wheel can indicate your next move. It works by turning a signal light on. These signal lights are situated towards the rear and front of your vehicle. Pretty clever eh? Left or right. Let people know and the cars will flow.
Signaling after turning is almost like saying thank you before someone does something for you. It’s useless and irritating. Get it right or get off the road.
7. Not slowing down at intersections
When you approach an intersection, you should realize that there will be cars coming at you from three different directions. The natural instinct would be to slow down so as to avoid any accidents, but these geniuses speed up!
Do they think that by going fast enough, they can avoid all of the other cars? I just don’t understand. This isn’t just annoying, but also very dangerous. People, slow down at intersections.
6. Incessantly flashing high beams
Don’t you love it when motorists flash their high beams at you if you aren’t going fast enough for their liking? Or if they want to go first at an intersection. Or when they want to overtake. Bonus annoying points for people who have those HID/LED bulbs that change color, strobe and pulse. Dude, tone down the douche factor just a bit.
Some people need the extra light while driving at night, which is all well and good, but if you use them to pester the cars in front of you or to blind people driving towards you, that’s just annoying.
5. Not slowing down for pedestrians
There is an utter lack of respect for pedestrians in this country. A lot of drivers do not slow down–in some cases they even speed up when they see pedestrians crossing.
It takes a grand total of five seconds to let one person pass. Are you telling me you can’t spare five seconds of your precious time to let a pedestrian cross the street? If you hit one pedestrian, you’ll spend more than five seconds in the hospital paying for the bill. Remember that.
4. Slowing down to checkout a vehicular accident
Imagine that there has been a minor collision on the corner of Ayala and Makati Ave. Cars are piling up and one lane is congested due to the accident. Cars are forced to merge onto the rightmost lane. Instead of just driving by, like they should, these fools slow down and analyze the accident. “Yan kasi. Kasalanan yan ng taxi driver.”
You do know that there are cars waiting behind you, right? You do know that by slowing down, you cause a pile up, right? You don’t need to know what happened or who caused the accident, you need to keep moving.
What puzzles me is the fact that these same drivers can’t be bothered to slow down at an intersection or to let pedestrians cross, but they’ll slow down to check out an accident. Go figure.
3. Filling up an already clogged intersection
You know that giant yellow x that you see painted on intersections? That, dear motorists, is there to tell you that unless your exit from that intersection is clear, you cannot, should not, must not enter. I know, it’s tricky. You think that your lane will keep on moving, but you have to be discerning. It was designed to prevent clogging lanes.
When you enter an already clogged intersection, you hinder the progress of everyone else. What’s the mentality here? “If I can’t move, no one else is going to move either.” Is that it? I hope you’re late for your meeting and you miss out on all the good food, you selfish punk.
2. Not going when the light turns green
Folks, we don’t have to guess or try to anticipate when the light will turn green. There are numbers on the lights that tell us exactly when they will. Yet we still have people stalling when they’re supposed to go.
If you’re the first person at the intersection, you are the release valve. If you don’t go when you’re supposed to, you hold up a whole line of cars. This sets off a chain reaction. This leads to Carmageddon.
When you see the countdown approaching one, put your car in gear and get ready to go.
Now this is the most annoying thing that you can do. It isn’t stupidity or ignorance, it’s arrogance. You see the line of cars in front of me, but you don’t line up.
Do you notice common factor in all of these annoying road habits? It’s being selfish. You think that you deserve to get where you’re going before anyone else. Guess what? You do not. We’re all rushing from point A to point B. We all have important meetings to get to and kids to pick up. Follow the rules and we’ll all get there soon enough.
What do you think are the worst habits to have as a motorist? Sound off in the comments below!