10 Essential Tips for First-Time Drivers in the Philippines

Tips for First-time-Drivers-Bria-Homes

Are you planning to purchase your first car? Or have you just received your new driver’s license? More often than not, gripping the steering wheel is an experience that many teenagers are looking forward to. However, driving for the first time is an experience that is exciting and at the same time intimidating and stressful. Worry no more as we are to give you practical and essential tips for first-time drivers that could help you ride safely on your dream car.

1. Get to know your car

It is undeniably important to get to know your vehicle before going into a road trip. Whether it is your personal car or borrowing from your parents or friends, familiarizing yourself will make driving easier and will keep you relaxed on the road. With that, you need to know things like the turning signals, headlight, windshield wipers, indicator, and hazard lights among others.

2. Plan Ahead

Conquering the bustling streets of Metro Manila is no easy task, especially for first-time drivers. This everyday struggle of car owners and commuters alike is caused by several reasons. According to a study by JICA, this is primarily due to the fact that car volume exceeds road capacity. It means there are more cars than what the roads can handle. This results in drivers spending an additional 20 minutes per 30-minute drive during the morning rush hour while 29 minutes more in the evening rush hour.

Thus, an important tip for first-time drivers is to plan ahead your trips. This could be by means of estimating your travel time through various navigating apps like Google Maps and Waze. You may also opt to identify alternative routes to avoid traffic jams, especially during the rush hours in heavily congested roads in the Metro like EDSA or to get away from the unending and numerous road repairs.

3. Beware of All Traffic Signs

According to the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) Executive Summary 2019, the top common violation committed by drivers is Disregarding Traffic Sign with 182,721 violators in 2019 while 107,719 in the preceding year. This causes the violator their most precious time over the 150.00-peso fine.

More than the penalties and fines, it is pivotal to understand all traffic signs as it gives all road users information for routes, directions, and warnings. Further, these signs send a definite message for drivers to abide by and understand. Basically, adhering to traffic signs doesn’t just spare you from hassles, but also saves people from any potential accidents.

4. Eyes on the road!

Accidents happen anytime and in most unexpected circumstances. According to the MMARAS Annual Report 2019 of MMDA Road Safety Unit, there were 121, 771 recorded road accidents that resulted in 100,933 damaged properties, 372 fatalities, and 20, 466 injuries. And according to the same report, it is the drivers that suffer most of the fatalities and injuries in many road accidents.

To further prevent this, Republic Act 10913 or the Anti-Distracted Driving Act was enacted into law in 2017. This prohibits all drivers from using any communication, electronic, and computing devices while driving or at temporary stops. Violators will be penalized from 5,000.00 to 15,000.00 from first to third offense and 20,000.00 pesos AND revocation of driver’s license on the fourth offense. So as a tip for first-time drivers, you better keep your eyes on the road!

5. Use your indicator lights… correctly!

Nothing is more irritating than a driver who does not use their indicator lights correctly and worst, who does not use them at all! Indicator lights are means for drivers to communicate with one another especially if the driver intends to change directions and lanes and in overtaking. Maximizing the use of indicator lights definitely helps in avoiding road accidents.

Make it a habit of using your indicator lights even if there is no one else sharing the road with you. Practicing the habit makes it become part of your system and second nature.

6. Be mindful of your gears

A practical tip for first-time manual drivers is to smoothly change your gears whenever driving your cars with manual transmission. This is one of the fundamental skills you need to learn as it will keep the efficiency and performance of the car at an optimum level. Basically, you change your gear as you accelerate or slow down. You need to use the appropriate gear according to your speed or else, it will ruin your car’s transmissions and the engine in the long run.

Though cars with automatic transmissions have fewer gears compared to those with manual transmissions, it is still equally important to get acquainted with the functions of each gear in keeping the car’s efficiency and performance, as mentioned above, at its optimum level.

7. Don’t Rush: Driving is not a race

According to Philkotse.com, overspeeding remains to be one of the top 5 causes of road accidents in the Philippines. As you become more used to driving, it becomes more tempting to go beyond the identified speed limit. Moreover, there are other compelling reasons why drivers resort to overspeeding driver-related, driver and road relations, and traffic and environmental factors. Nonetheless, it is not worth the risk.

It is necessary to take note that observing the speed limit does not just make you a law-abiding citizen, it is part and parcel of your safety and of others. Remember that your loved ones are waiting for you as you are on your way home.

To avoid resorting to overspeeding, give yourself ample travel time. Refraining from overspeeding contributes to making the road a safer place for everyone.

8. Don’t Tailgate

Another driving habit that new drivers need to avoid is tailgating. No matter how much you want to get ahead of the car in front of you, keeping close proximity with it poses a greater risk of getting into an accident. Tailgating will not give ample time and space to adjust if the car ahead of you suddenly steps on break or make any sudden movement.

An important driving tip for beginners is the practical three-second rule. This unwritten rule implies that you should leave at least three seconds of space between you and the car in front of you. Another practical tip in avoiding tailgating is that you should be able to see the road between you and the one ahead of you. If you can’t, be cautious enough to change your gear to reverse mode and move backward because you are too close.

9. Practice Parking

One of the most daunting and stressful things about driving is properly parking your car. In the Philippines, oftentimes, parking cars is the last skill that aspiring drivers learn; may it be angle parking, perpendicular parking or parallel parking. However, your parking skills are equally important as learning how to drive.

Practicing your parking skills does improve your confidence. You may opt to do it in a quiet place where you will not be intimidated by other people as you practice.

Read Also: Carport vs Garage: A Quick Guide

Looking for an Affordable House and Lot with parking space? You may check Bria Homes’ selection of house & lot properties across the Philippines through here.

10. Driving is about predictability

After going through all the tips provided above, it is important to underscore that safe driving is about the predictability of the driver. This means that you, as a driver, give the rightful signals to other drivers to avoid and lessen the uncertainties and lower the risks of getting into any accidents. This is also applicable to your capacity to understand the signals that other drivers provide you. Aside from this, driver’s actions could be easily predicted through the various traffic signs and rules that every driver needs to follow.

Remember, good driver does his/her best to be predictable to other drivers and pedestrians. The more you understand and predict, the better and safer.

Interested in reading more? You may visit the Bria Homes official website and Facebook Page for more details.