As motorists, we are responsible for the safety of our passengers and other road users, not only our own. Below are AAP’s top 10 New Year’s resolutions for motorists based on the FIA’s (Federation Internationale de l’Automobile) 10 Golden Rules for Safer Motoring:
BELT UP— Seatbelts help prevent or reduce the risk of injury in a road crash. In fact, according to the Global Road Safety Partnership (GRSP), “When used, seat-belts have been found to reduce the risk of serious and fatal injury by between 40 percent and 65 percent.” Moreover, non-use of seatbelts violates Republic Act (RA) 8750 and subjects the driver to a fine and suspension of his license.
RESPECT THE LAND TRANSPORTATION CODE—RA 4136 is about the “registration and operation of motor vehicles and the licensing of owners, dealers, conductors, drivers, and similar matters.” Its laws protect motorists and the general public as well .
OBEY SPEED LIMITS—Many major road crashes occur because of speed demons .
RA 4136 states: “Any person driving a motor vehicle on a highway shall drive the same at a careful and prudent speed… and no person shall drive any motor vehicle upon a highway at such a speed as to endanger the life, limb and property of any person, nor at a speed greater than will permit him to bring the vehicle to a stop within the assured clear distance ahead.”
CHECK MY TIRES—Tires are the motorist’s foot on the road. Worn-out or improperly inflated tires are accidents waiting to happen. Before driving, check the condition and air pressure of your tires.
DRIVE SOBER—– Driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol or illegal drugs impairs your ability to concentrate, judge distances, control speed, and make appropriate driving decisions. DUI will endanger yourself, your passengers and other road users. Hefty fines, jail terms and revocation of licenses await violators.
PROTECT MY CHILDREN –Statistics from the FIA show that 500 children are killed daily in road crashes. Protect your young passengers by keeping them properly secured while travelling.
PAY ATTENTION—Devoting one’s full attention to the road gives the driver enough time to respond to traffic signs and possible road hazards and thereby avoid accidents.
STOP WHEN I’M TIRED – Like DUI, driving when you are tired or drowsy can disrupt your focus, reaction time and decision-making ability. Stop and pull over to the side of the road to rest or catch a short nap, then resume driving.
WEAR A HELMET—For motorcycle and bicycle riders, the use of helmets significantly lessens the impact on the head if a crash occurs, therefore reducing the risk of severe brain injury, or even death.
BE COURTEOUS AND CONSIDERATE –Giving other motorists a piece of your mind may lead to nasty results. Instead, give way once in a while because it never hurts to do a good deed. Also, a study by the London School of Economics and Political Science and Goodyear found that “aggressive or combative driving frustrates other drivers on the road, who take it out on the next, creating a chain of aggressive, and unsafe driving situations,” while “considerate drivers have the opposite effect, helping to create a safer and less stressful road environment.” By observing road courtesy, you promote road safety.
By sticking to these New Year’s resolutions for motorists, we can help prevent road crashes and thus enjoy more New Years in the future.