VIGAN CITY – Keeping tuned in to road safety can save a life daily.
Keep safe. Better safe than sorry. These are often said when people are on the road. Engr Raynaldo Ablog, officer-in-charge of the Department of Public Works and Highways 1st engineering district of the province, said that motorists and pedestrians must follow rules to prevent any road accident. This was during the media forum, “Dap-ayan Ilocos Sur” at the Sangguniang Panlalawigan Session Hall of the Provincial Capitol in this city last week.
Ablog said that there are many kinds of drivers. But the best are the responsible ones who try to learn about road signs, and who try to follow rules of the road to keep the roads safe for every motorist, passenger, pedestrians and even those who are along the roads.
It is very valuable to remember always some rules and sharing these to their family members, neighbors and friends, even social media friends. These include not using the mobile phone when driving because the attention is divided, even if one is using a headset. Once the attention of the driver is not focused on the road, accident can happen. Drivers must also not that emotions are brought out during conversations over the phone, and these can change the mode of the driver, removing his attention from driving.
Another important rule is fastening the seatbelt of all the passengers. Not only those in front, but also those at the back of the car. Bus conductors must instruct passengers to fasten their seat belts upon sitting, like those in airplanes. Those who get the front seats are in especially dangerous situation, especially when they fail to fasten their seat belts. In a collision, a passenger who forgot to belt up can kill or injure the driver or a passenger in the front seat.
Alcohol can make a person dizzy, even a small amount. Many accidents happen, many lives are lost because of drivers under the intoxicating effect of alcohol. No matter how careful other drivers are, if they meet irresponsible drivers, accidents happen.
Slowing down, keeping a steady minimum pace not only saves energy, but also lives. In a study, driving at 30mph to 35mph can lead to killing a pedestrian.
Remembering there are children in every corner of the road, can help the driver slow down near schools, parks, buses, ice cream vendors and stores. Children are impulsive. They can be seen sitting in a park along the road, and in a second, they can be running across the road. The responsible driver always keeps in mind the presence of children anywhere.
Ten percent of road accidents is caused by driving out-of-focus because the driver is tired. There must be at least a 15-minute break every two hours while driving.
Pedestrian lanes must be installed and used to avoid accidents. And drivers must slow down when approaching one. Pedestrians must choose to wear light-colored clothes to be seen during night time.
For those travelling with babies and children, proper seats for them must be installed and checked regularly.
To avoid collision, avoid tailing other vehicles. A two-second gap between two vehicles must be maintained. Accidents caused by sudden stop of other vehicles, and loose break can be prevented when drivers don’t try to overtake other vehicles, or when they maintain a few meters distance from those in front of them.
DPWH Ilocos Sur believes that road accidents in the province often involving single motor vehicles can be prevented by following the above rules, and by using proper gears like the helmet which is a must even for bikers. (Imelda C Rivero/PIA Ilocos Sur)