So you’re a safe driver, you take a defensive, calm and controlled approach when driving, you get your car checked every year for problems and you have comprehensive car insurance just in case you get into an accident. Yet every time you go out for a drive you are bombarded with reckless and annoying drivers all around you that make you feel like no matter what you do, you will still have to deal with annoying vehicles and drivers. Let’s take a look at some of the culprits that make so many Filipinos drivers annoyed each day on their way too work.
The Bus – Go to many other countries and buses are extra well behaved on the road. But here in the Philippines these guys have mastered the skill of annoying other drivers on the road with their constant lane changing without care or concern to vehicles and motorists around them. Driving behind a bus often means trying to see through a black cloud of smog every time they speed off and it can make your head spin as you watch them swerve sideways back and forth across several lanes almost causing a pile up just so they can beat the rival bus next to them to pick up passengers. When you’re the size of a house and you could cause complete destruction to smaller vehicles around you, why bother signalling and letting other vehicles pass before you start turning? Buses deem the most effective way of changing lanes is to just do it! Drivers who frequent EDSA and other major roads around Manila will be used to the scenario of watching their side windows suddenly fill up with the view of nothing but bus, inches away from you as they have decided it’s time to turn and you need to get out of the way. You could of course hold your ground and not budge, knowing the bus is suppose to wait for you to pass before they turn but most drivers around the city know it’s best to just get out of the way or run the risk of being side swiped. A more intensive training and licensing for bus drivers is something most of are hoping for in the future.
The Taxi – Taxi drivers are fearless on the road and their long hours (often 24 hours of continuous driving) and high expenses means they’re often in a rush and in a bad mood, making the perfect recipe for an overly aggressive driver. Taxis will cut you up before you even saw them, they’re fast and nimble and seem to be able to fit into gaps that you thought didn’t even exist. This of course means you’re often left waiting while all the taxis ninja around you into any potential spaces you thought about moving into. When you see a gap or an opportunity to gain a few hundred meters of ground through the heavy traffic, you can pretty much always guarantee a taxi will beat you to it.
Trucks – Much like the bus, they seem to forget how big they are and how much damage they could cause to the surrounding vehicles if something went wrong. Also for some reason trucks are usually the vehicles that block junctions. When the road to your side is filling up and your thinking it’s going to be your turn now to pass through the junction, forget it, the truck thought it would be a good idea to keep driving and sit in the middle of the junction waiting several minutes for the traffic ahead of them to clear while blocking all other vehicles and roads from passing.
Remember when driving, if you find yourself becoming flustered or hot headed because of the constant threats to your safety and sanity caused by reckless drivers it bests to pull over at a gas station or somewhere safe and just freshen up for a few minutes. Drive safe everyone.