Living In The Philippines Forum

Getting Prepared For The Philippines => Driving and Vehicles in RP => Topic started by: bigrod on September 10, 2017, 10:09:02 AM

Title: Observation While Driving in the Philippines
Post by: bigrod on September 10, 2017, 10:09:02 AM
Now having been driving here for just over one year I have observed the following.

1. It seems Filipinos have no idea of the width, length or height of their vehicle

2.  Most have to come almost to a stop to make a turn and will make a move to the opposite direction of their turn prior to turning and slowly proceed with the turn.

3.  Do not use the right lane to make a right turn if space is available.

4.  When passing they do not really accelerate to get past the vehicle they are passing.

5.  If there are designated turn lanes at an intersection they get in the turn lane even if they are going straight or try to make a turn from the non turn lanes.

While there are many other things while driving these are a few I see all the time.


Title: Re: Observation While Driving in the Philippines
Post by: BudM on September 10, 2017, 10:29:38 AM
One of the very few things that I dislike about the Philippines.  A lot of the drivers.  Mainly jeep drivers.  3/4 of them need to have their driver's license yanked.  Too many do not know what it means to stay in your own lane and of course using two lanes when picking up or dropping off passengers.  With pedestrians, I can not believe how many feel that even if there is a cross walk, they have the right of way under all circumstances.  They will come out of no where at the last fraction of a second and do it from a blind spot from on the other side of the windshield post and cross in front of you as you are almost on top of them.  They think putting up their hand causes traffic to automatically stop.  I can see where someone who is susceptible to road rage would not last here before something detrimental would happen to them.
Title: Re: Observation While Driving in the Philippines
Post by: JoeLP on September 10, 2017, 01:28:14 PM
I've been in two "fender bender" accidents since i've been here this time around.

One was when a man went into the right hand turn lane to get around a large box truck that was trying to go either straight or left while trying to cross the busy main road that i was on.  I was literally at the front left edge of the truck when the idiot came out at full speed.  Didn't even slow down to look to see who was coming from the massive blind spot that existed the complete box truck.  Seriously...who drives that stupid.  I slammed the brakes and caught his back wheel part because everyone on the sidewalk started yelling at him and he slammed his brakes also. 

Tina was behind me on the bike.  She was in the first trimester for our son.  I came unglued on that driver.  Asking what the f*** he was thinking driving right into that intersection with no way of knowing what he was doing and that my wife was pregnant.  He kept saying sorry while some sidewalk people pulled his bike off the road(the chain was knocked off) and also moved my bike over. 

The red cross was there in minutes and there was a drug store on the corner.  But man, that guy ran as fast as he can as every witness pinned the blame on him when the police finally showed up.  The red cross beat the police big time to the scene.  A big joke, but common in the Phils for how long it take the police to show up.  It may have helped me with the witnesses as Tina was behind me and it wasn't just me.

The 2nd accident was due to exactly what you were saying about going wide one way before making a turn the other way.  But one extra thing happened in my accident.  The dude was in front of me with either a gf or wife on back.  He actually had on his right turn blinker...slowed down and went in to right lane.  So I stayed in left lane and kept same speed, then he turned hard left right in front of me.  His girl started yelling at him while some local on the corner made mention his right turn signal was on and he only yelled a few words at me before he realized both his girl and the witness were going on him.  He shut up and took off.  Didn't say a thing to me and just ran. 

Truth is I am fine he ran as I have seen and heard horror stories about pinoy at fault but blame the foreigner stuff.  But both these accidents did little to my bike.  Scuffed up the front fender is about all they really did and when the bikes when down on side broke a mirror that is an easy and cheap fix at the honda dealer. 

So the crazy turn that start with going the wrong way and who complete lack of reality when it comes to blindspots to the average pinoy on the street caused both my accidents.  Like you mentioned, 2 of the worse things you see on the roads in the Philippines.
Title: Re: Observation While Driving in the Philippines
Post by: jjcabgou on September 10, 2017, 04:59:57 PM
By far the worst, most unskilled, and inconsiderate drivers I have encountered on this planet, and it is not even close.   I have driven everyday for the last 5 years, and without fail, WTF and/or What an asshole, comes out of my mouth.   
Just watching them back up makes me feel like I could make millions of pesos teaching the local population how to properly back up (and do it in less than 9 minutes). 
I still chuckle each time I see somebody back up and put on their emergency flashers
Title: Re: Observation While Driving in the Philippines
Post by: Lee2 on September 10, 2017, 07:02:44 PM
I do not drive when we are in the Philippines but I have had two issues walking, first one was I made it to the center island only to have car rub its wheel against the center island so he could hit me with his mirror, I am not sure if it was on purpose or he just could not drive, then two was when my wife and I crossed Escario Street in Cebu City with a green light only to make it to the sidewalk and have a motorcycle on the sidewalk going the wrong way almost run me over because I was never expecting any traffic to be going in that direction, lesson learned and now I look both ways even on the sidewalk.

The drivers in Cebu City are terrible, when we take taxis they do not stop for stop signs and sometimes not for lights either, I always joke that most laws in Cebu are only a suggestion, as without many traffic enforcers or police around, no one seems to obey them.

Now in Cagayan de Oro, I have never had a problem, I can even walk out in the street and people will stop to let me cross, I guess it is that there are a lot less white guys walking around, so they probably do not want to run me over because it might cost them a lot of money but in Cebu there are many westerners, so I am just one of many but I can still point at drivers and usually get them to stop when I cross the street and have the light on my side.

In Manila the last time I was there walking around near the embassy, no one stopped for traffic lights so getting across the street meant me having to dare the drivers to hit me by pointing my finger at the driver and glaring at them as I crossed.
Title: Re: Observation While Driving in the Philippines
Post by: ABCDeVil on September 26, 2017, 12:51:30 AM
Wow, one of my pet subjects here in the Phils.

ME I love driving/riding here. Of course many drivers, no matter what kind of vehicle, SHOULD NOT HAVE A LICENCE. But have said that, the reality is, not as much traffic goes fast enough. As in, the foreign countries, such as Aus, minimum is 60kmh or 35mph, except near schools. So, driving in Manila, Cebu and to a smaller degree, Davao, traffic does not get upto those speeds, often. If I keep this in mind and stick with the speed of the local area I am in, stopping is quicker or easier than most would expect and mostly less scary.

I live in a smaller area in Zambales, but during my 5 yrs here, I ride or drive all over the Phils. But when I need to get in/out of the bigger places, especially the big 3 cities, my driving adjusts to the local conditions. I drive a small car, a Honda Fit/Jazz. With driving down the major road thru Manila, that being EDSA, I drive defensive/aggressive as required. What this means, is when a bus, jeep, truck or bikes, (but not exclusive to only these types of vehicles) is wanting to impose themselves into my lane, on or over my vehicle, I DO NOT let them. Well I hear you say, that is well and good just to say that, but to do that is hard or not safe. BS of course it is safe, you just need to be confident enough to pull it off and NOT let these fools try to bully you.

Anyone who has driven down EDSA knows, there are many U turn slots, where traffic comes from your left, to join your flow of traffic. The buses, jeeps, small trucks, bikes and dumb taxis, want to cross the 5-7 lanes, to allow them to pick-up passengers. So what do they do, drive / veer / barge their way across these lanes, no indicators, no respect for other vehicles, or any regard or passenger lives, or damage to other vehicles. Recently, actually last Sunday, when I was on EDSA, going north, I separately trapped a jeep, then a bus and kept them on my left side (drivers side), so they could not get to their desired drop off, almost directly opposite the U turn slot. Local MMDA & Traffic Patrols, stopped both vehicles, booked them. How do I know they were booked, I pulled over, walked back and watched, with my asawa giving me the translations, as both jeep & bus, missed their stop by several hundred meters, but they just tried to back up, along EDSA, to the stop they wanted, all whilst the patrols watched. lt was worthwhile me stopping and listening. The bus driver had his licence taken & his passengers had to have the fares returned, then find another bus.

Ok the bikes on EDSA are the stupidest and scariest people I have ever seen. Not only will they go down between vehicles, they will beep, if you do not move out of their way. Also, as a long time bike rider, I know you need to look ahead to see where it is clear/safe to go past slow moving vehicles. No indicators are used, going from one side of my car, crossing directly in front of my car, finding another gap to move forward. Some bikes are carrying goods, not properly balanced, but at least they are wearing some form of helmet, or in one case, the rider had 2 helmets, one on either side of the bike, making the gaps he was trying to use, way too small. Did he care, NO, until he tried to pass me on my left side. I was watching this guy for a km or so, hitting cars, trucks etc, leaving scrapes all along the way. He was coming near me, so slowly I had been edging my car to the left, nearer to the car beside me, so I could block this fool. Yes he beeped, as he seemed trapped/cornered and could not pass. Well watching behind me at many doors being open after he passed others, MY door opened before he could pass. Some drivers behind, smiled, got out from behind me, got a hold of this guy. OK you can guess how mad / angry others were, as the rider, scratched, dented or broke bits off vehicles behind me. LOL the rider was not in a good place, as the victims got a hold of him. Oh I drove away, as the traffic moved ahead of me, but this guy was stuck, alone and should have been in need of new underwear, LOL.

Most of this year, I have had a need to travel from my Zambales residence, into Manila once or three times a week. So I know that the MMDA & other traffic patrols folks have been doing a better job with the transit places along EDSA. Two weeks ago, I observed, 17 buses, stopped near Ortigas area, all were being booked for double parking, no indicators, no licenced drivers, no licence to operate, failing to give way to other traffic (ie just pulling out into the traffic flow with little care or total disregard). How do I know what the traffic patrol guys were doing, easy, I stopped walked up and asked. They told me and I buggered off, with their responses to my questions. Most people will tell you, if you just stop to ask. Oh these guys, I thanked them, by going to a food stall and getting them some food, as a member of the public and user of EDSA, I was pleased with their good work. Sure they were surprised but also pleased, most want to clean and clear up the crappy inconsiderate drivers, especially EDSA.

I have many more stories to tell. Enough for now.

Title: Re: Observation While Driving in the Philippines
Post by: ABCDeVil on October 01, 2017, 12:27:03 AM
Here goes another driving story. I drive a Honda Fit/Jazz, using a fairly accurate GPS.

Last year, whilst driving from mid Luzon down to Mindoro. This is where the silly drivers started, on Mindoro. We left Batangas and arrived on the north west side of Mindoro at Abra De Ilog port to start our drive around the island. Many small fish trucks (about 3 ton size) left the ferry with us, heading south to various towns along the way, most notably, Sablayan a big fishing town. The roads all around the island are winding and are in pretty good condition, wide enough, but in places, it is hard to pass the slower moving vehicles. It was not too bad until Sablayan which took about 60-90 mins. The fish trucks would slow enough on the small straights to wave us past. Nice of them too, as our small but very nippy Honda, wanted to motor along at a better pace than these vehicles. All good on the first leg, to Sablayan, courteous drivers, even the slower trikes & other local vehicles.

Stayed there for a few days with friends, then the longer journey around the island to Puerto Galera. This should be about 7 hours (350 kms), all depending on other traffic. The roads go twisting and winding up, down and over many hills all the way. Ok here is where we found many bad drivers, in SUV type vehicles. The twisting roads are ok, as in some places, when making some left hand bends, you can look up the twists and view or not, vehicles travelling in the opposite direction. Well the SUV drivers move into the left lane (yes on the wrong side) to take these left hand bends. Of course, if you are behind them, in a small nippy car, unable to get by, as they are blocking the whole road, slowing at times to 20-30 kms, you can become a wee bit frustrated. We keep our cool, but listening/singing to music as we drive, so this stops any road rage effects. The first SUV kept us trapped for about 10-15 mins, tooting my horn or flashing lights, did not seem to make these rather rude inconsiderate drivers to move over or allow us to pass.

As we kept watching this first SUV, blocking our way, in fact, it seemed that they were staying out longer each time they took the left hand bends, on the wrong side of the road. But as we were behind, we could clearly see him watching and laughing at keeping us behind. My asawa, bless her cotton sox, said "well if they want to drive on the left, just pass them". Thinking about this for a few more bends, I agreed. So the next time the left hand bend, I will drive past them, using the correct and legal side of the road. Well, some of you might cringe at this type of manoeuvre, think about it for a bit and have a look at these fools as they take up ALL the road. Watching the GPS, seeking my opportunity and then I zipped up beside them, keeping them on the wrong side of the road. Do you thinks this guy was happy, hell NO. With the Honda beside and half in front of the fool, he had to break more, as there was a right hand bend looming and we could not see around the bend at what might be coming the other way. The SUV driver, tried with all his might and effort to chase us down, as I guess he was angry at being caught at his own stupid game. The Honda, zippy on bends, left and right, stays on the right hand land and travels at a much faster speed than any SUV. They simply cannot take the bends at more than about 30 maybe 40 kph. Me I am gone, a long way down the road, hugging our lane, not being dangerous or careless, or annoying sensible vehicles.

Ok here is were things started to become more interesting, but still remaining in control. By the time we arrived at Puerto Galera, we had managed the same technique, not just once more, but three more times. All were rude, inconsiderate SUV drivers. All laughing as they kept blocking the road, whenever they wanted and not just on the bendy sections. The technique was executed smoothly, quickly and with a minimal of fuss, leaving these SUVs far far behind, as the Honda motored along on our merry way.

BTW, it may sound dangerous, it could be, if as a driver you tended to try to push or nudge or move my car towards the bigger vehicle, or over into the left hand lane. NOW that would be stupid and ridiculous. Just get past them and move on. Its over and done with. This can also be used, when a vehicle you are following, along a straight road, but they want to straddle two lanes. Drive up next to them, to show them you are NOT intimidated or that they are just rude and stupid and they need to decide which lane they should be travelling in. Most of the time they just move into ONE lane and are done with the situation.

I am an aggressive but defensive driver all at the same time. Never letting vehicles like buses or big trucks, try to squeeze into the side of my car, just because they want to enter your lane, but really they should have started to enter, quite some distance back. The roads belong to everyone, not just these rude drivers.


Title: Re: Observation While Driving in the Philippines
Post by: AggieExPat on October 12, 2017, 02:33:32 PM
I still chuckle each time I see somebody back up and put on their emergency flashers

I'm going on three months and I drive a Ford Ranger Wildtrack.  Needless to say I agree with everyone that driving here is at your own risk and definitely you need to drive defensively and be aggressive at the same time.  It took me a month to get acclimated to the driving, I thought Mexico City was bad but here is worse.  I have picked up some some habits and I definitely use my blinkers to back up and flash my high beams to pass.  Never in my life have I used the horn so much especially when passing bikes and Motorcyclists.

My observations the worst drivers from bad to worse..
Pedicabs..too slow and take up your lane
Motorcyclists will go thru anything, watch your blindspots..
Jeepneys will stop in the middle of the road and cross several lanes of traffic to do a uturn or stop to pick up or drop off.

And Taxis, they freaking think they are motorcyclists and believe they own the road...
Title: Re: Observation While Driving in the Philippines
Post by: AggieExPat on October 12, 2017, 02:40:38 PM
Forgot to mention intersections that have no lights or stop signs.  I'm referring to 4 lanes coming up on four lane intersections.  It's a free for all. Not to mention when traffic enforcers are in place. They make it worse..