With the easing of quarantine restrictions and the vaccination of a portion of the population, more people have seized the opportunity to be outside while still taking precautions. Some are going on a month-long travel bubble vacation while others are content with quick getaways, spending the weekend in private resorts, beaches, and other hotspots out of the big city. Either way, the reason is to experience a change of scenery and embrace recreational activities with a little more freedom.
If you’re planning to go out of town again for the first time in a long time, keep in mind road safety. Here are some reminders to reduce the likelihood of accidents, injuries, and illnesses while you’re out on the road:
Safety from Traffic Accidents
For sure, you’re no stranger to road traffic crashes, collisions with another vehicle, pedestrian, or stationary objects on the road. These types of accidents are preventable. Before getting behind the wheels, review these safety reminders:
- Drive within the prescribed limits. Speeding is one of the most common causes of road accidents. The rationale is simple: the faster you go, the less response time you’ll have for preventing a collision.
- Don’t text and drive. Another major cause of accidents is distracted driving. Leave your phone be and keep your eyes on the road. If you’re expecting an important call, set up your Bluetooth so you can pick up the phone hands-free. For messages, ask a family member or friend to respond for you.
- Drive during the day. Compared to nighttime travel, this is less risky since there’s a lot more visibility on the road. If you’re driving for more than a day, it’s ideal to have stopovers. It’s also best to have one or two more designated drivers throughout the trip to reduce driver exhaustion, which also increases the risk for accidents.
As you make every effort to prevent accidents, it’s also important to know what to do in case you get involved in such incidents. Here are the top three things to do:
- Call authorities. If someone got hurt in the accident, medical practitioners must respond right away. Traffic investigators should be notified as well. Dial these numbers:
- MMDA: 136
- NLEX-SCTEX: 1-35000 or (02) 8580-8900
- SLEX: (02) 5318-8655, 0999-886-0893 (Smart), 0917-539-8762 (Globe), 0932-854-6980 (Sun Cellular)
- CAVITEX: (02) 165-8888, (02) 8683-8001, (02) 8683-8002
- Capture what happened via pictures. Take photos of the accident, including the license plates of vehicles involved and the area you’re at.
- Collect the other driver’s information. Make sure to have their name, address, phone number, insurance company, policy number, driver’s license number, and license plate number. Write down a general description of the vehicle, including the make, model, year, and color.
When talking to the other drivers involved in the accident, try to remain calm. Even in situations where you’re not the one at fault, resist the urge to lash out. Road rage won’t do anything good.
Safety from Weather-Related Incidents
Since rains have become more frequent these past days, you should also exercise safety during wet weather. Below are some reminders:
- Slow down. Roads are slippery when it’s raining. With reduced visibility, your response time towards safety threats will be much slower too so it’s best to reduce your speed when driving in the middle of heavy rain.
- Switch the headlights on. This will give you more visibility on the road. But in case you really cannot see what’s ahead, it’s best to park on the side, activate your hazard lights, and wait for the heavy rain to die down.
- Stay calm when the car hydroplanes. Hydroplaning happens when the tires lose traction with the road because of the water on the surface. When your vehicle starts sliding uncontrollably, let go of the gas pedal and drive straight. If the car begins to spin, steer the wheel into the direction of the spin until you gain control of the vehicle.
Safety from Viruses
During your road trip, you might stop over at a gas station for restroom breaks or drive by a fast food restaurant to grab some snacks. In these situations, it’s important to exercise caution to prevent health risks. Make sure to do these health safety protocols:
- Pack the sanitation essentials. This includes alcohol or hand sanitizer, disinfecting wet wipes, tissues, disposable gloves, and sealable disposable plastic bags. Use the wipes when opening doors or turning off the faucets in public restrooms.
- Pay with cards. This eliminates contact with physical money that can be contaminated with different kinds of germs. The convenience of swiping cards also reduces contact with people.
- Pour alcohol on your hands before eating. Before taking a bite of your take-out meals, make sure to sanitize your hands thoroughly.
Are you going on a vacation soon? Prioritize road safety. These reminders should make for a safe, hassle-free trip.
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