Welcome to Inquirer Mobility

A new year is upon us. And what better way to start it off than with a fresh batch of new year’s resolutions? Okay, so resolutions have been quite notorious for being broken and unfulfilled for the most part. But given the last two years’ COVID-19 experience upending our normal lives, seeing through personal commitments that can only make you a better person might just be what we all need to make some sense of life again.

The motoring world is rife with shortcomings. Surely, in our own little way, we can contribute to making our roads safer and less stressful. With little tweaks to our habits and lifestyle, we can help make every journey genuinely something to look forward to. As we have always said, the changes we seek will have to come from us first if we are to expect things to turn out for the better.

I will clean my car more often

We have said this far too many times now, but it still remains true. A clean car can make driving a less stressful experience. Clutter and junk in your car just throws you in a foul mood, especially when you need to pick up the mess that gets thrown around when you brake too hard or turn too abruptly.

Let your car be a reflection of your own home. A clean car leads to a clean state of mind. Keep your mind on the road rather than on the trash or filth that can distract and annoy you and your passengers.

I will keep my car properly maintained

As a responsible car owner, ensuring your car is roadworthy is the least that you can do. Ensuring all components such as the battery, lights, oil level, wipers, brakes, tire condition and air pressures, and gas level are at their most optimum is one way to keep breakdowns at a minimum.

One of the main causes of traffic in our tight streets is the jam caused by a stalled vehicle. Providing your car the basic maintenance it deserves lessens the chance for it to break down at inopportune times. Keeping an eye on the condition of your ride lets you drive with more confidence and peace of mind.

I will obey road rules to a tee

If there is one way to ensure order on our streets, it is to follow road rules and the authorities who enforce them. Smooth flowing traffic is dependent on us all not doing our own thing just because it is convenient for us.

Homogeneity in behavior on the road lets us all move forward together. Once you run a red light, make a wrong turn, cut across multiple lanes or even load or unload passengers in the middle of the road, it affects the flow of traffic exponentially. What may be convenient for you may become a hassle for others down the road who have to stop to accommodate your crass behavior.

I will not counterflow

Speaking of crass, counterflowing is a behavior that deserves a whole bullet on its own in this list because of the propensity of misguided motorists to do this on our roads. Counterflowers not only draw the ire of other drivers who have been patiently waiting in a queue, it also puts drivers at an unnecessary risk. We should not be keeping an eye for cars heading head-on towards us, at least not as an accepted norm.

Counterflowing is one of the rudest and most inconsiderate moves one can make on the road. So do not be one of those who have no respect for other motorists. And if you happen to be on the wrong, do not expect to be given a free pass for your wrongdoing. Be humble enough to accept your mistake, and bear the consequences of it.

I will park properly every time

What is an additional few seconds to align your car perfectly inside a parking slot? It will not be a loss to your life to make sure your vehicle is parked correctly and not eating up more space than it should. Be considerate to other motorists who you are sharing all this space with. Wouldn’t you want to be accorded the same level of respect too?

I will overtake safely

Again, just because you can, it does not mean you should. This is especially true when overtaking in blind corners, crests, or roads marked with solid lines. These road markings were placed there for everyone’s safety. Winding mountain roads are especially notorious with this kind of disregard as motorcycles and cars overtake at their own convenience despite the restrictions.

So please have some patience on the road when overtaking is not allowed. Those extra seconds you spare can mean life and death for you and another driver or rider down the road.

I will keep distance to the car in front

Tailgating is a practice that can easily lead to disaster. Driving too close to the car in front limits your ability to react to sudden braking or steering maneuvers. This is especially true when driving in the rain where water lessens the grip of a car or motorcycle’s tires with the actual surface of the road.

Human reaction times can also vary so having enough space can give you extra milliseconds to see, assess, and react properly to what lies ahead.

I will not engage in road rage

It is easy to curse at another driver especially when he is in the wrong. It is also easy to use your car to push off another vehicle in retaliation for a bad move against you. But it takes a lot of effort to restrain yourself from doing either.

Road rage may be the human response to another erring driver, but it is more human to keep your cool and hold off from making a move that will further fan the flames of confrontation. Nothing good comes out of this, ever. So resolve to be the better person on the road. Focus on your driving and put safety first for your and your passengers’ sake.

I will not drink and drive

We have seen many incidents in the past few weeks of cars crashing into the MMDA’s concrete barriers again. These usually happen at night or in the wee hours of the morning. And, as the authorities have observed, it was a driver under the influence of alcohol who was behind the wheel in these situations.

Not only is driving drunk against the law, it is also as irresponsible as it is reprehensible. Alcohol, drugs or even lack of sleep can reduce reaction times and dull our driving senses. That is why it is best to just rest the drunkenness off, have someone pick you up, or book a private taxi service to take you home when you have taken way too much to drink. Again, you owe it to yourself and other motorists to be 100% every time you are driving.

I will be more courteous behind the wheel

Being courteous towards others is perhaps the easiest and most rewarding behavior you can practice when driving. Show courtesy and courtesy comes back.

A simple wave of thanks for letting you pass, or letting another car through even though it would be faster for you to go ahead, perhaps even letting a pedestrian cross in peace. These are little gestures that make our motoring lives more fulfilling. Practice more of these and you will surely feel lighter on the inside in the long run.

Our behavior and disposition on the road is contagious. Project good vibes and goodness comes back. Be kind and more understanding towards others and that kindness makes its way back to you down the road.

As we start 2022, why not take those baby steps towards being the better driver. Change should start from us first. And if enough of us can change for the better, we will surely see the transformation that we have been longing for. Happy New Year to all!

Enable Notifications    Ok No thanks