I’ve been riding my Vespa to work for almost a year now. Ever since opening Movement Performance MNL in Makati, I decided I would not be driving (more like sitting in) my car and wasting 3 hours of my day in traffic. Initially I tried biking to work from QC, which was still faster than driving, but it got tiring to pedal 30 km on a daily basis. The next logical step was to get a scooter.
In the 12 months of scootering, these are the drivers I try to avoid at all costs to keep myself alive and accident-free, which I have managed to do, so far. I won’t be discussing the 2 obvious motorcycle-killers on the road, trucks and buses, because those are no-brainers.
- The Distracted Driver
This is usually a private car driver who is easily spotted from afar because of their erratic moves on the road. You will usually see them going slower than the flow, keeping an unusually large distance between them and car in front, or slowly drifting in and out of their lane. Once you pass them, 95% of the time they are on their mobile phones sending a text message, checking Facebook, or trying to add a destination on Waze. I usually blow my horn when I’m beside their window to wake them up from their technology-induced stupor.
- The Byaheng Langit Jeepney
Some roads I pass are more notorious for these types of drivers. I usually see them on Marcos Highway, Aurora Blvd, and España/Quezon Ave. These jeeps have no qualms of weaving in-and-out of traffic to overtake fellow jeepney drivers, and beat them to the next passenger most likely waiting in a no loading/unloading zone.
Most of these drivers DON’T have any clue of the rules of the road. In heavy traffic they will occupy the right most lane including the gutter where they won’t fit anyway, essentially blocking the only escape of cyclists and motorbikes. On national roads, they occupy the left or fast lane instead! Why they do that, is still beyond me. Plus with no real guidelines on what sort of safety designs they should have, they most likely won’t have rearview mirrors and a complete set of lights, so you’ll definitely have to anticipate their next move.
- Underbones with Faulty Side Mirrors
With 3,000 pesos you can probably walk out of a motorcycle showroom with a brand new underbone. Combined with a joke of an agency called the LTO, that means there are a lot of uneducated riders on the road. You can easily spot these riders because they will have one or both of these on their motorcycle: Missing or non-functional side mirrors, and/or open pipes that are noisy and annoying as anything. These riders feel like they are the only ones on the road and just dart in-and-out of any opening they see. They will also be the ones you see who will stop right on top of the pedestrian lanes on intersections with stoplights. In street speak, parang bulbul magmaneho!
Avoiding these types of drivers, together with trucks and buses with massive blind spots should keep you safer while riding to work. Scoot on!
If you have more to types of drivers to add, feel free to put it down in the comments!