How to avoid car accidents

by Drei Laurel | Dec 27, 2022
Image of a rear-end collision
PHOTO: Shutterstock

Figuring in a car accident is easily one of any motorist’s worst nightmares. Best case scenario? You’re involved in a fender bender and have to shell out money for repairs. Worst case? Let’s not even go there.

That said, there are ways to minimize your chances of getting into an accident on the road. Below is how to avoid car accidents.

What are the common types of car accidents?

First, let’s talk about what types of car accidents are most likely to occur.

Thanks to the annual Metro Manila Accident Reporting and Analysis System (MMARAS) report, we know that the most common kinds of road accidents in the National Capital Region are sideswipes and rear-enders with 16,395 and 11,039 cases recorded, respectively, in 2021.

Collisions with parked cars are also, apparently, very common. Last year, a total of 1,524 of these incidents were recorded.

Sadly, many road accidents also involve vulnerable pedestrians. In 2021, a troubling 2,087 cases involving pedestrians were recorded—1,986 of these cases resulted in injury, while 101 were fatal.

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While the MMARAS does a decent enough job recording accidents, it still has plenty of room for improvement. In 2021, MMARAS simply listed 10,782 road accidents as having ‘no collision stated.’

You can read more about the MMARAS here.

Avoid aggressive driving

One way to reduce the chance of being involved in a car accident is to avoid aggressive driving. That overtake maneuver you’re thinking of making? Think about if it’s really necessary. Are you in an emergency? If not, then there’s really no reason to be driving like you’re in a hurry.

Sometimes, safety all boils down to common sense.

Practice defensive driving

We mentioned earlier that the most common types of accidents in the city are minor fender benders. Driving defensively can drastically reduce the chance that you’ll be involved in these situations.

In traffic, be aware of how close your fellow motorists are to your vehicle. You also need to watch out for passing motorcycles, too. Always be sure to cheat your rearview and sideview mirrors before making any maneuvers, and never make them in a sudden fashion.

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Some people say that defensive driving is “assuming other cars around you are being driven by idiots.” The truth is, you also need to keep yourself in check as well.

Keep your car maintained

All your skill behind the wheel will be for naught if you can’t keep your vehicle in proper working order. Two of the most important car components when it comes to keeping you safe on the roads are your ride’s tires and brake system—the former because they keep you firmly planted on the road, and the latter because it’s responsible for stopping duties.

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Tire maintenance

Keeping your tires properly maintained isn’t just a matter of slapping on a new set every now and then.

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Firstly, you must know when it’s time for a replacement. The quickest way to determine if your ride needs new rubber is a visual inspection of your tires’ tread wear indicators. These are bars that go across the tread at regular intervals. Also, be sure to check the expiration dates of your tires. You can learn more about tire maintenance here.

Brake maintenance

If you’re beginning to notice a lack of stopping power while you’re behind the wheel, it might be time to replace your brakes. Thankfully, it’s entirely possible to do this in your own garage.

Brake pads, for example, are a component that is regularly worn out over time. Hearing metal-to-metal contact when using your brakes is a sign that it might be time for a replacement. Learn how to go about doing this here. Alternatively, those of you who still use older vehicles can learn about brake shoe replacement here.

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What to do after a minor accident?

It isn’t uncommon for parties involved in a road accident to try to settle the incident right after it occurs. In many cases, one or both parties prefer to keep things simple and offer to settle things monetarily.

There are some types of accidents, though, which should not be settled this way.

“You should watch out for bumpers, headlamps, taillamps. What happens is yung bumper, front and back, they’re designed to crumple. Inside a bumper, you’ll see like a piece of styrofoam, so that will absorb the impact,” lawyer and car enthusiast Carlo Chungunco says.

But yung nangyayari doon is you have to replace [either] that piece or the whole bumper. So it’s designed to break apart kasi it’s supposed to absorb the impact of any accidents small or big. So, it might look like a small hit, but when you look inside the bumper, you might realize yung impact styrofoam mo is gone na. That will necessitate replacing to make your car roadworthy again.”

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Such repairs or replacements can cost a pretty penny, so it may be best to get insurance involved if these components are damaged.

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