Eight Road Courtesies You Should Practice When Driving on the Highway
Driving in the Philippines is challenging. You must be alert, patient, and relaxed whenever you hit the road–it’s a battle royale out there. You yourself might have seen or encountered a temperamental (barumbado) driver while you are on the road or while you are driving on the highway. As such, here are eight road courtesies you should practice to avoid being tagged as a barumbado driver.
1. Be mindful of your entry. You should get your car up to highway speed so as not to disrupt traffic. Keep in mind that cars on the highway are usually traveling at least 60 kph. So, don’t be shy to step on the accelerator pedal. Use your car’s indicator lights when merging into highway traffic to inform other motorists. Moreover, don’t forget to check your side- and rear-view mirrors before you enter the lane.
2. Give way to merging cars. Reduce your speed when you see a car that’s about to merge into your lane. This practice will prevent accidents and will result into better traffic flow. Giving way to others will not harm you, right?
3. Check your mirrors and use turn signals when changing lanes. Before you change lanes, make sure to check your side- and rear-view mirrors first for obvious reasons. When it’s clear, flick your car’s indicator lights and wait for about three seconds before you change lanes. This will allow other motorists to see that you intend to switch lanes. Do not switch from one lane to another abruptly. You’re not Michael Schumacher after all.
4. Keep the passing/overtaking lane open. Slow moving vehicles that are hogging the passing or overtaking lane is probably one of the most annoying things one experience when driving on the highway. You can’t blame those drivers when they get annoyed because that lane is called passing or overtaking lane for a reason. It also makes highway traffic worse and dangerous because drivers of faster cars feel the need to weave back and forth through lanes. The left-most lane in expressways is meant for fast moving vehicles to overtake slower vehicles. Once the faster vehicles get past the slower ones, the driver of the faster car should go back into the right or center lanes. Always remember to keep the passing or overtaking lane open.
5. Maintain a safe following distance. When driving, maintain a safe following distance to the vehicle ahead of you. It is ideal to have a three second gap to the vehicle in front of you. In this way, you can respond better and safer to road hazard or accident. On the other hand, when you’re overtaking, you should only move back to the lane when you see the car you pass in your rearview mirror. This will give you an idea that you have a safe distance to the car behind you.
6. Stay alert. Driving on the highway requires your utmost attention because you’re driving at a high speed. You should be aware of road signs and/or hazards ahead of you.
7. Preparing for exit. Exiting the expressway could be a bit tricky because you’re traveling at a high speed. Keep an eye for road signs that shows the distance of the next exit. Knowing the distance of the next exit will enable you to safely change lanes.
8. Toll fee is ready. Prepare your toll fee while you are waiting for your turn to reach the toll booth. This is to have faster payment transactions, which will relatively yield better traffic flow in toll plazas.