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One man’s view of driving in the Philippines…


miles-high

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musicman666

i have been driving a bike and car here for years and while at the beginning i had a few scrapes its now ok as i have learnt the local language of the roads. i have to say that metro cebu for me is far safer as petehk stated that traffic here is slow. I get real spooked on the national highways with high speed large vehicles driven by total assholes ...other than that everything is within my control as long as i assume the worst and drive cautiously. ...touch wood.

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For visitors, my suggestion would be don’t drive… A chauffer-driven car can be had at only about $50 to $70 a day… It’s a steal if you consider the thousands of dollars you may need to spend if you go

You have to respect someone who appreciates- and accepts- their limitations.  Its the guys  behind the wheel with the same attitude who do NOT appreciate it that scare me.

Miles, you should have put a warning in the subject line. I bet when whippy saw those figures, he almost had a heart attack.           Been there. Done it. Actually, I have driven a jeepney from

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CebuKano

that is why when it says please park  forward facing only and 13 out of 14 dont do it

 

Would you rather have a driver back into/over you when leaving a parking lot? I think it's a good idea for cars to back into the spaces.

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musicman666

Would you rather have a driver back into/over you when leaving a parking lot? I think it's a good idea for cars to back into the spaces.

Also it's much easier to enter a tight parking space with the fixed wheels leading which is what happens when you reverse.

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JohnFromTexas

I'm not sure what the speed limits are in the UK but in the US they are upwards of 70-80mph for most major highways.  Your accidents are far more likely to be fatal if they happen going at a high rate of speed.  That is most likely why the rates in the US are pretty high... also, we drive everywhere and don't take public transportation unless you are either poor or in new york city/chicago/dc where they have metro rail systems that are decent.  A lot of are auto fatalities are alcohol related as well

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thebob

 

 

I'm not sure what the speed limits are in the UK but in the US they are upwards of 70-80mph for most major highways.

 

The UK has a Motorway system with 70 MPH posted speed limits most drivers consider that as a minimum.

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The UK has a Motorway system with 70 MPH posted speed limits most drivers consider that as a minimum.

I thought they had lots of speed cameras there?

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udonthani

speed limits in the USA have historically been low, compared to Europe. For years there was a federal law restricting speeds to 55pmh across the entire country. People in the US do not drive faster than anyone else and never have, Speed on major highways - called 'motorways' in the UK is not really much of an issue as these are the places where the fewest fatalities take place. The most dangerous roads where speed really does kill people are in built up urban areas, followed by rural roads, not major highways.

I'm not sure what the speed limits are in the UK but in the US they are upwards of 70-80mph for most major highways.  Your accidents are far more likely to be fatal if they happen going at a high rate of speed. 

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arentol

Agree 100%.

 

I moved from Las Vegas to Cebu about 7 years ago. Back in Vegas I'd see massive car accidents every morning on the way to work -- literally cars sitting on their roof, demolished, and ambulances taking the bodies away. After 7 years of driving here my car doesn't even have a scratch, knock on wood.

 

The problem as I see it: In the U.S. there is a complete reliance on rules... a blind dependency, if you will. To the extent that American drivers rely wholly on law & order and their fellow drivers following it... this is to the detriment of actual conscious thought. Everyone assumes that everyone else will stop at the red light, stop at an exit before entering traffic, and use turn signals. People drive on auto-pilot without devoting a good deal of conscious thought to their actions.

 

Accidents happen when someone doesn't follow a rule. Given the speeds involved in US driving this usually results in fatalities.

 

Here in Philippines, no rules are enforced. Drivers' decisions are based entirely on what other drivers are doing... it is wholly reactionary. Drivers here have to watch what everyone else is doing and react accordingly.

 

The result of this conscious decision-making results in a lower number of fatal accidents.

 

 

Cheers,

Aren

 

 

 

 

I think driving standards are fairly good here, considering there is almost no education and almost nobody has ever taken a driving test. They do pretty good, considering. Of course we can each of us get on our culturally superior pulpits, any time we want.

 

fact is, almost none of us know what it is like to drive a jeepney from one end of Cebu city to the other and if we were forced to do it, most of us would just shit ourselves.

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it is in fact a national disgrace, although it has improved in recent years

 

a national disgrace ?  I know of no one in the US that considers this a disgrace of any sort; only smug individuals from the UK would see this as a national disgrace...

 

Why is it that  people (such as yourself) who quote statistics (lies, damn lies and statistics) don't include links for the locations of the statistics?

 


 

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udonthani

a national disgrace ?  I know of no one in the US that considers this a disgrace of any sort; only smug individuals from the UK would see this as a national disgrace...

 

 

 

sorry have put you on the defensive by prickling your national pride. You might think that somebody that supposedly loves their country would be concerned when evidence emerges that they may be falling short in a particular area.

 

you probably don't realise that the infant mortality stats in the USA are a national disgrace as well.

 

why don't you look at the figures pal. More people die on America's roads than they do in any other rich country. Here is list of the IMF's 10 richest countries in the world, in descending order of their rate of road traffic fatalities per 100,000 (criteria : minimum population of around 10 million).

 

USA 10.4

Belgium 8.1

Canada 6.8

France 6.4

Australia 6.1

Japan 5.2

Germany 4.4

Netherlands 3.9

Sweden 3.0

UK 2.75

 

the USA used to stand out on this list even more. However they have improved relatively, so it doesn't look quite so bad as it did.

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cebulover2000

I drive 2,3,4 and 6 wheels here, it isn't as bad as most people seem to make out. Defensive driving is imperative. All of the above pictures are good examples of what you will encounter on the roads here. You need to concentrate very hard, all the time, but you should be doing that anyway. every single maneuver you make, you should expect the other road users to do exactly what you don't want them to, and take appropriate action.

 

If you aren't comfortable driving here, then by all means take the advice given and hire a driver, but practicing driving here means that you are ready when your vehicle is needed for that emergency journey.

 

The locals are very "competitive" when they are driving. Just let them "win".

Absolutely correct, driving is really no problem here if you let the locals "win". I used to drive very aggressively but there are too many motorcycles on the road now and I drive defensively, sometimes literally slow and I am fine now. My wife just doesn't want the car in the body shop over and over and use a taxi. Taxis are so inconvenient and when you go out and about at night as we do, you actually face a huge line up many times. A driver is about 300 to 350 pesos/day if you need one.

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i wonder where we would be on the death rate list if our cars did not have 12 air bags, abs, traction control, sway control, flip over computer wheel braking, vehicle lane drifting warning, ice alert, crumple zones and i think on Volvos if you start to dose off it shocks your balls.

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udonthani

i wonder where we would be on the death rate list if our cars did not have 12 air bags, abs, traction control, sway control, flip over computer wheel braking, vehicle lane drifting warning, ice alert, crumple zones and i think on Volvos if you start to dose off it shocks your balls.

I think that is where a big part of the improvement may have come from. But most important thing to lower the death toll, is less speeding in urban areas which is where government gets slagged off for being killjoys and so awkward by imposing speed bumps and 20mph limits (in the UK at least) where they know there is a lot of people around, especially kids.

 

It has got better but it is still high in the US. The reason why the UN bothers to take the trouble to collect accurate road traffic fatality stats, is that they know it should be an relatively easy thing to improve, even for poor countries like the Philippines. I bet 20 years ago even when there were less vehicles here, the death toll was plenty more than it is nowadays. In Thailand, the farangs are always saying how bad the Songkran Thai New Year holiday period death toll is. But it has been going down, year after year, after year.  Road safety education, works.

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musicman666

Here in Philippines, no rules are enforced. Drivers' decisions are based entirely on what other drivers are doing... it is wholly reactionary.

A regular wake up call for me is the idea that just sticking to your own lane is safe ....quite often drivers coming the opposite way will suddenly plunge into your lane oncoming forcing you to move over to the kerb ... Wtf! Edited by musicman666
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thebob

A regular wake up call for me is the idea that just sticking to your own lane is safe ....quite often drivers coming the opposite way will suddenly plunge into your lane oncoming forcing you to move over to the kerb ... Wtf!

 

Do you drive with your eyes open? Or do you use "The Force"?

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