To those who love driving and going on long, spontaneous road trips, the open road, heavy with symbolism and full of promise, is an escape. The journey—highways stretching out before you, windows down, speakers up, wind in your hair—is often as rewarding as the destination. And you’ll feel that excitement, whether it be the thrill of a new adventure, like the classic Batangas road trip to cross a big item—in this case, diving—off your bucket list or the joy (only parents can relate to!) of driving your kids to their first day at a big school—fulfilling their dream and yours or that sense of accomplishment of finally setting up that Alabang office .
But while weekend travelers, adventure junkies, and daily commuters have maybe perfected the road trip and weaving in and out of traffic, not everyone has their road safety skills down to a T. Are you making the necessary precautions when behind the wheel? Do you drive with focus at all times? Are you insured? Regardless if you’re cruising down the highway or rushing to the airport to catch a flight or trapped in a traffic gridlock on the way to work, safety must and always should be you’re top priority.
Here are some tips to get you to your destination safely:
- Wear your seat-belt at all times – Whether you’re the driver or passenger, whether you’re riding a private car, a PUV van, or taxi, whether you’re driving to a nearby store or going on a road trip, you must buckle up. Every time. It seems so elementary, and you’ve probably read this a hundred times, but seat-belts save lives. And… not wearing a seat-belt is against the law, in case you don’t know.
- Get insurance for yourself, not just your car – Here in the Philippines, people buy insurance for their cars but not for themselves. If it’s necessary to insure your car, what more your life and your family’s future? On top of being a safe and careful driver, you need to protect yourself from accidents, too. Road safety begins with the protection of life. Life insurance protects you and your family—whether it be on the road or on the curbside. Just like a car insurance, life insurance provides a cash benefit, right when you or your family need it the most. Just in time for the holidays, FWD Life PH (FWD), part of pan-Asian insurer FWD Group, is providing accident insurance with Php500,000 coverage to the first 500 registrants. To sign up, go to bit.ly/SignUpForInsurance. Special offer is only until Dec. 11, 2019. This is to celebrate FWD’s fifth anniversary as well as its recent history-making partnership with MCX Tollway, Inc., which elevates the expressway as a symbol of the nation’s “road to progress.” Used by more than one million cars a month, the FWD-MCX has shortened what was once a 20-minute drive from Daang Hari road to SLEX to only a three-minute journey.
- Observe speed limits – The World Health Organization (WHO) identifies speeding as one of the main problems that contribute to the risk of crash-related injuries in roads. Local government units have enacted their own speed limits depending on the road and traffic conditions in their areas. On the other hand, speed limits for private cars in expressways here in the Philippines is from 80 to 100 kph.
- Put your phone on silent mode and use hands-free accessories – It’s almost second nature to check our phones, especially when we hear it ring. But taking your eyes off the road for five seconds can already put your life and the lives of others in danger. So put your phone on silent mode if the notifications are too tempting or distracting. If you need your phone to navigate, get a hands-free mount so you can hear directions and see the map in your peripheral vision.
- Stay alert – It’s vital to stay alert while driving. Focus your senses on visual and auditory cues on the road—from horns and sirens to road signs and signals. Never wear headphones while driving or anything that will block your hearing. If you need to drive with the music on, just let it play inside the car.
- Don’t drink and drive – If you plan to drink, designate a driver who won’t drink. Or spend the night getting sober before you drive.
- Pull over! – You dropped something you needed under your car seats. You have an emergency call you need to take. Your pet on the backseat is acting up. Your baby is bawling. If there’s something going on that’s more important that you need to attend to, stop driving. Find a safe and proper spot to pull over and park in order to address the situation. If you’re having car trouble, pull off the road as far as possible.
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