Top Causes of Road Accidents In the Philippines

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Road accidents in the Philippines have been a common news headline. Is it because of the state of traffic in the country? The increasing number of vehicles on the road? Driving under the influence? Undisciplined motorists? Texting while driving? Or all of the above?

According to the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA), in 2019, 434 Filipinos died and 19,374 were wounded in the National Capital Region (NCR) alone due to road crashes. The accident rate has reportedly been increasing since 2005. The number of recorded mishaps in NCR almost doubled from 63,072 in 2007 to 116,906 in 2018.

There were two main categorical causes for road accidents: human error and mechanical error, the latter is less frequent than the former. Human error includes driver’s negligence, distraction or physical challenges, like losing control, drunk driving, speeding and the like.

Here are the top causes of road accidents in the Philippines (in no particular order) based on data from the PNP-Highway Patrol Group (PNP-HPG), Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA), and Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA). These are all avoidable and we included a bunch of advice to prevent these:

1. Losing Control of the Wheel

Losing control of your car is preventable. Take control of your vehicle and safety by staying focused, alert and calm, especially when driving in adverse weather and road conditions.

2. Driving Under the Influence

This is the most common cause of road accidents in the Philippines. We all know that alcohol weakens a driver’s reasoning, reflexes and motor skills, leaving one unfit for driving. If you think that you are going to be drinking at a dinner or a party, better bring a designated driver with you, book a ride-hailing service ahead, take a taxi home or sleep at your friend’s house until you are sober.

3. Engine / Mechanical Failure

Common mechanical troubles like worn-out or underinflated tires, suspension and steering issues, engine and transmission problems and headlight/tail-light malfunction can also be the cause of a road mishap. Never forget to check your B.L.O.W.B.A.G.E.T.S (battery, lights, oil, water, brake, air, gas, engine, tires, and self) to avoid any difficulty, especially before going on long trips and even for everyday use of your vehicle.

4. Losing your Brakes

This type of mechanical failure is often singled out as it is a commonly used statement in an accident report. This is really a dangerous one but can be prevented if you check your brakes regularly. Early checking will give you early warnings about fluid leaks and overheating. Also, this one is connected to the next cause…

5. Speeding

Driving within the speed limit will minimize the risk of an accident significantly as you will be able to hit the brakes on time. Public roads are different from racetracks, so don’t HURRY – no one is chasing after you. Regardless of the adrenaline rush, no one can justify recklessness on the road.

6. Using Your Phone While Driving

Multi-tasking is a rare talent but doing it while driving is a dangerous time to show it off. Once you get into that driver’s seat, you should practice focus and alertness while driving. Simple avoidance of distractions created by your gadgets can really prevent accidents from happening.

7. Turning without Signaling

Signaling while turning is a driving etiquette. Taking consideration of other vehicles is a must and signal lights are made to help other motorists make decisions while on the road. Make use of your signal lights wisely when turning, backing up, switching lanes or making a U-turn.

8. Bad Overtaking

Overtaking may cause accidents when there is a miscalculation of the distance and speed of an oncoming vehicle and, this often results in a collision, which is sometimes fatal. To avoid it, maintain your speed – if you anticipate that the car behind you is trying to overtake, let it – you are not the owner of the road either.

9. Jaywalking Pedestrians

Pedestrian lanes are made for people to safely cross the road and for drivers to slow down and wait for their turn to go. But not all road accidents are caused by the person behind the wheel – sometimes jaywalkers are! To prevent it, better to maintain your speed at all times and be cautious when pedestrians are in sight.

Be knowledgeable about the traffic laws and rules, drive carefully and stay focused. It is always best to prepare for the worst because accidents can happen anytime.

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