Car accidents are frightening experiences for those involved and for those around to witness it. Some miraculously leave with little to no injuries, but unfortunately, not all leave with their lives.

According to the annual data report from the Metro Manila Accident Recording and Analysis System or MMARAS, there had been a grand total of 95, 615 incidents of road crashes in the Philippines last 2015. In these incidents, 536 people were killed and 21,858 were injured. Most of the fatalities were pedestrians, amounting to 43.84% of the total data gathered, while those who get injured the most were the drivers, with 47.31% of the data. Motorcycle incidents were reported to have the highest fatal and non-fatal accidents, while cars deal more damage to property than most.

The report also listed the causes of accidents. Human error tops the list, which is mostly the fault of the drivers. Following are other causes, like external road factors such as humps, oil spill, manhole, scattered sand, wet road, and even due to passengers like a mentally-ill co-passenger. The last one in the list are vehicle defects, which can range from electrical to mechanical faults such as a detached wheel, faulty brakes, sudden unintended acceleration, and broken tires. So how can you avoid these accidents?

Be alert. Keep your eyes on the road

You use more than just your sense of sight and touch in driving. You multitask when you drive, that’s why your focus should always be on driving alone. You need to look out for everything outside your vehicle to prevent any mishaps form occurring. Maintain proper distance to the car in front of you. Remember, the lesser distance you have, the less time you’ll have in stopping your car. In essence, the nearer you are to the car in front, the more likely it is for you to crash when the car in front unexpectedly stops.

Avoid distractions

Driving while doing other things, like surfing the net on your phone or eating, is a one-way ticket to disaster land. Better put that phone or food down if you don’t want to end up in a hospital. Or worse, in a casket.

Know your car

Know the limits of your car to avoid miscalculations on your part. Want to drive through a flood? Just make sure the water won’t reach your engine. Want to drive through an alternate route with a rough road condition? Make sure your car can handle it. In all instances, make sure your car can handle the road conditions you’re setting it up for.

Take care when driving at night

If you’re fond of driving after the sun goes down, then you must always remember to be extra careful. Our visibility is significantly reduced during night time, so you might not be able to see things that are usually visible at the day.

Always keep your car in top shape

Don’t forget to check your car everytime you’ll hit the road. Regularly take it for maintenance in your local service center. Doing so will save you from any potential hassle and accidents that you might experience if you break down in the middle of the road.

Drive slowly in residential areas and schools

Not only are these places crawling with people, but these places are also full with children. Children are usually energetic, so it’s common for them to run around. To be safe, drive slowly to avoid a potential disaster.

Don’t be complacent

This is the most important thing that you should remember. Complacency is your enemy when it comes to driving. The moment you become complacent, you become comfortable. And when you become too comfortable, your guard will be down, so it’s easier for you to be caught unaware of the things that you should be looking out for.

Be alert because you don’t only have to watch your own habits. Remember, the road is for everybody. You need to watch out for other drivers, too.