Driving in all parts of the world can be a thrilling travel experience but different countries have own ways of driving safely. Not all are driving the right way. If you watch the “Don’t Drive Here” reality TV series, you will noticed that Andrew Younghusband had a hard time learning and driving in the world’s worst driving cities. At least, he succeeded in doing his driving challenges.
I have written blog posts about the astounding destinations in the Philippines but in this article, you will be learning how to drive safely in Philippine’s congested place called Metro Manila. You will have to get a license first before learning and doing the driving. Here are the tips to make your driving in Metro Manila a safe experience.
Tip #1: Look at rear view and side mirrors before changing lanes
Most drivers are not givers, they are takers. They will try as possible to get ahead and overtake you. Motorcycles especially tricycles will also do their best to see an opening and run on your side so they can change lanes first before you. Just look to the mirrors first so you will know if you can change lanes safely and if you will not hit a pedestrian. Also, use proper signals at a right time.
Aside from motorists, you have to be careful of trees and posts because not all traffic enforcers are reliable. Some will hide and find a way to enforce a traffic violation to you.
Tip #2: Distance between cars
Make sure that you won’t be driving too close between cars since there will be a great chance that the car on your front will suddenly stop or the car behind you will hit your bumper. It can be a minor accident but it will surely eventually lead to heated arguments, additional costs, hassle and headache.
Tip #3: Don’t take other drivers’ behavior personally
There are many rude drivers in Manila trying to get ahead of you or will not give you way but still, be courteous. If you get in trouble, reason out and stay calm. You may not know if the motorist you will be arguing has a gun.
If drivers especially on jeeps curse at you, don’t be mad and just smile.
Tip #4: Get traffic reports
Listen to radio news so you will know the places that are free of heavy traffic and the roads to avoid at your travel time.
Tip #5: Don’t travel within rush hours
Rush hours usually occur from 6am up to 10 am and again from 5pm up to 9pm. Avoid rush hours to avoid heavy traffic. If you can, travel as early as possible.
Tip #6: Keep your windows and doors locked
Some places are full of snatchers and thieves. Street kids can also be one of them. If you keep your windows open, they might bother you and get your cellphone or earrings even when you are still wearing them.
Tip #7: Stack your wallet with only small bills while driving
Traffic enforcers might give you a higher illegal amount of penalty if you will get your wallet and if they will see that you have lots of money. Just keep your large bills on other parts and just put these again later in your wallet after driving. It will be best for you if you will know the basic traffic rules and laws so they will be aware that they cannot fool you. Don’t forget taking a picture of the traffic enforcer sneakily.
Tip #8: Apply Defensive Driving
Every time you drive, expect that you will encounter drivers intentionally commit mistakes. Practice your reasoning, debate and calm argument skills like a lawyer.
If you are scared driving here, just share a ride with friends, ride trains or ride taxis with a Filipino fellow. If you have an old car and don’t use it anymore, you can sell your old junk car to get some cash and use for public transport.
If you are the one who are up to travel adventure, you are welcome to take the challenge! Drive safely and be proud to document and share your driving experiences to your friends. It can be one of your greatest achievements in your travel history.