Pinoy Driver

Why Drivers Don’t See Cyclists and Motorbike Sometimes

You are driving one beautiful Sunday afternoon, the radio is blaring and you are nearly home. As you approach a junction you apply the brakes and get ready to stop if you need to. Glancing left and right you notice there’s no traffic so you begin to move forward. Suddenly there’s a bike right in front of you and you slam on the brakes, narrowly avoiding it.

How did that happen? You checked left and right but did not see any vehicle approaching. Was it a ghost? No, it actually is caused by two phenomena that occur in human vision. Understanding these will give you insights to just how flawed our own vision can be!

 

Saccadic masking

 

There are instances where we become totally blind for a very short period of time with our eyes wide open. This is caused by the quick involuntary movements of the eye balls whenever you turn your head or move your eyes from one point to another. These fast involuntary movements of the eyes are known as saccadic movements, or just simply, saccades. During a saccade, no useful visual information is taken by our brain for a very short period of time (less than 10 ms). and within this period our brain does an excellent job of masking the blindness by promoting vision through a redirected visual axis. In other words, the brain prevents you from noticing the momentary blindness by replacing it with the image of the very next object you see. This occurrence is called saccadic masking (link to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saccadic_masking)

 

 

Try looking in a mirror and see if you can watch your own eyes as you move them from one point to another. You will never observe your own eyes moving because your brain is masking it, but another spectator will see your eye movements. Saccadic masking is also the reason why the first second hand movement of a clock, at first glance, appears to be longer than its next movements.   

 

Change blindness

 

This psychological phenomenon happens when large changes in a scene goes unnoticed by an observer. Occurrence of such are influenced by eye movements (saccades), visual and mental distraction, and the lack of focus and attention.  Try watching this video to have a better understand of what change blindness is.

 

How can understanding Saccadic Masking and Change Blindness make driving safer?

 

Being aware of these natural phenomenons will also make you aware of the measures that you could take to avoid any accidents influenced by them. Below are five tips which, when followed carefully, help mitigate our human visual incapacity.

 

  • Be attentive. Always keep your focus on driving and not on other things. Avoid looking at your mobile device or from anything that could distract you while driving.
  • Always check more than once. Whether you are looking at the mirrors or checking right and left, see to it that you always do this more than once. This greatly increases your chance of seeing less visible objects such as cyclist and motorcyclists.
  • Be proactive and not reactive. Being proactive prepares you to respond to any unexpected circumstances while driving. Always think ahead of the situation, especially when approaching a junction, overtaking, and making turns. By doing so, you are actually conditioning yourself for a quick response (ready to step on the brake or make a quick maneuver) in case an accident might occur.
  • Turn your head. When changing lanes or turning, it is not enough to check your mirrors alone. Instead, turn your head as well to check over your shoulder immediately after checking the mirrors.
  • Don’t think twice about it. When driving and you suddenly feel sleepy don’t hesitate to pull over to take a rest. If someone else is with you who knows how to drive, let him or her take the wheel. Do not drive in the first place if you are not feeling well or are sleepy.

 

You cannot prepare for what you do not know

 

Now that you understand saccadic masking and change blindness, and how it could pose as a threat to driving, you can now apply what you learned and take it on the road for a safer driving experience.   


 

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2017 Number Coding Scheme: Unified Vehicular Volume Reduction Program (UVVRP)

 

The no window hour number coding also known as the Unified Vehicular Volume Reduction Program (UVVRP) was implemented to reduce the seemingly unending traffic congestion in Metro Manila.

MMDA (Metro Manila Development Authority) stated that it’s effective from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. and covers 18 different areas within Metro Manila.

 

Below are areas and roads that are included in the UVVRP.

R-1: Roxas Boulevard — From C.M. Recto to MIA Road

R-2: Taft Avenue — From Lawton to Redemptorist

R-3: SSH (Pres. Osmeña Highway) — From Pres. Quirino Avenue to Nichols Interchange

R-4: Shaw Boulevard — From Ramon Magsaysay Boulevard to Pasig Boulevard
R-5: Ortigas Avenue — From Santolan to Imelda Avenue

R-6: Aurora Boulevard / R. Magsaysay Boulevard — From Legarda/Ramon Magsaysay to C5 Katipunan

R-7: España, Quezon Avenue, and Commonwealth Avenue — From Carlos Palanca to Quezon Avenue to Commonwealth Avenue, and to Mindanao Avenue

R-8: A Bonifacio Avenue — From Blumentritt to EDSA Balintawak

R-9: Rizal Avenue — From Carriedo to Monumento and Caloocan City

R-10: Northern Coastal — From Recto to C4

 

Included Circumferential Roads

C-1: C.M. Recto Avenue – From Roxas Boulevard to Legarda

C-2: A.H. Locsin Avenue and Pres. Quirino Avenue — From Roxas Boulevard to R-10
C-3: G. Araneta Avenue and Sgt. Rivera – From N. Domingo to R-10
C-4: EDSA – From R-10 to Macapagal Boulevard
C-5: Pres. C.P. Garcia Avenue — Commonwealth Avenue to South Super Highway

 

Other Major Routes

A. Mabini Street — From Samson Road to C-3 Road

Alabang Zapote Road — From Alabang to Real St./Quirino Avenue

Mc Arthur Highway — From Monumento Circle to Valenzuela/Meycauayan Boundary

Marcos Highway — From Katipunan to Sumulong Highway

Las Piñas City

Mandaluyong City

Makati City

 

Here’s the official MMDA Tweet of the UVVRP illustration.

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Had a traffic violation? Here’s where and how to pay

Almost every driver at some point will have at least minor traffic violation in their driving life. No matter how good you are of a driver or how keen are you with the Philippine road and traffic rules it’s just inevitable to have a traffic violation with our current road rules and signage here in the country. Take for example the route from Aurora boulevard  to Araneta Center Cubao. There is not a single road sign that tells you that vehicles on the left lane must turn left yet when you’ve decided to go straight you’ll be stopped by a traffic enforcer for a traffic violation. These type of schemes are particularly rampant in the country and all Filipinos know that corruption takes many forms. From high government officials down to the lower ranks which includes traffic enforcers on the roads.

 

No Contact Traffic Apprehension Policy

Due to the increasing numbers of traffic violators the MMDA (Metro Manila Development Authority) has decided to re-implement the No Contact Traffic Apprehension Policy in April 15, 2016. Instead of the conventional apprehension of traffic violators the system utilizes CCTV cameras and other gadgets to determine motorists that violates road and traffic rules within Metro Manila. So now traffic violators are issued a ticket directly from an MMDA enforcer, courier service or a registered inbox mail. The great news is that violators can now settle the penalty charges at the MMDA office or via MMDA payment centers.

 

For traffic violations issued within 7 days

If your violation issuance has not exceeded 7 days you may settle at any of the following MMDA payment centers below:

 

  • Metrobank branch (all branches)
  • SM Bills Payment Outlet (all outlet)
  • Meralco Bayad Centers

 

  • Meralco Complex-Gate 2 (Meralco Complex, Ortigas Avenue, Pasig City)
  • Pinagkamaligan Meralco Branch (Ma. Roxas St., Barangay Pinagkamaligan, Tanay, Rizal)
  • Tropical Hut Taytay (Ortigas Ave. Extension corner E. Rodriguez Ave., Taytay, Rizal
  • Ever Gotesco Commonwealth (Ever Gotesco Center, Commonwealth Avenue, Quezon City)
  • Pritil Tondo (Beside Puregold Pritil)
  • Gulod Novaliches (Beside Meralco Nova)
  • Ultra Mega Paliparan (Inside Ultra Mega Supermarket)
  • Zapote Arcade (Beside Puregold Zapote)
    Zapote Arcade corner Quirino, Zapote Road, Las Piñas City
  • Romacom Muntinlupa (Beside PNB Poblacion
    Romacom Building, Muntinlupa City)
  • Cangatba Porac (Back of Municipal Hall of Porac
    Cangatba, Porac, Pampanga)

 

For traffic violations issued more than 7 days

Traffic violations that has been issued for more than seven (7) days you will need to settle your penalty charges at the MMDA Redemption Office located at EDSA corner Orense Street, Guadalupe Nuevo, Makati City.

 

For disputes or protests regarding your violation

If you have any dispute regarding your violation you could proceed to the MMDA Traffic Adjudication Division.

 

What happens if you have unpaid violations?

If you have more than three unsettled violation penalty charges you’re going to have to secure a certificate of attendance by participating in the Traffic Academy program of the MMDA. Otherwise you could settle the violation charges at the MMDA main office.

 

Traffic violators who refuse to pay their penalty charges will not be granted vehicle registration renewal and the violator and his vehicle details shall be reported to the LTO and be included in the Alarm List of MMDA. In addition to this, his driver’s license renewal will also become invalid.

 

What if you’ve had a traffic rule violation that you’re now aware of, How would you be able to check it?

The good news is that MMDA has developed a website called “May Huli Ba?,” this stores into its database all the unsettled traffic violations then indexes and shows it to you upon entering your license plate number. To know more about the MMDA’s website check out this article.
This is all summed up in the infographic below.

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10 Simple Ways to Drive like A Pro

Even if you have only recently learned how to drive it is actually easier to drive like a pro than you think. Remember that most so-called experienced car drivers have not even mastered the basics, or gotten them right, even after all those years.

Here are 10 very simple techniques that any first time driver can use to drive like a pro. Most of them are tips from serious racing and pro drivers.

1. Be extra observant.

There are always clues and hints on the road that tell you what to expect ahead. Most of us do not even see these small pointers. For instance people waiting for a bus on the other side of the road means that there is a bus coming. Bins left out means that a garbage truck may not be too far off.  It may prove to be hard at first but get into the habit and soon it will be almost second nature and folks will wonder long and hard how on earth you manage to do it. Just like a real pro.

2. Always expect and prepare for the very worst

Expect the worst and once in a while it will happen and it will make all the difference. For example slow down instead if speeding past some parked cars because you expect a kid to run out from one of them and onto the road without looking. And that vehicle you are about to overtake, do expect him to suddenly turn into that side road without showing any indication. In other words drive for yourself even as you also drive for the other road users as well.

3. Look where you want to go

Research has clearly proved this. Lose control at high speed and you are looking in the direction of the cliff and chances are high that you will go right over it and at precisely the point you were looking at. Start staring at the flashy car on your right and you will notice that you are drifting towards it. Whether you are in an emergency situation or not just look in the direction where you want to go and it will happen much faster and much more smoothly.

4. Always drive at a speed that will enable you to stop in the distance you can see

This should be your golden rule on the kind of speed you want to drive at. Your pace should always give you enough room to stop within the distance that your eyes can clearly see. Ignore this rule and it is only a matter of time before you are involved in a collision of sorts.

5. Use your car horn more

You really need to also use your horn to alert others of your presence. Most accidents happen because the other driver did not see you until it was too late. If you are worried that others will interpret this as you being too aggressive. Just make sure that yours is a short horn signal and then follow it up with a nice smile and wave of thanks. They should be able to quickly understand that you were simply alerting them.

6. It may sound crazy but do not focus on the car directly in front of you

Instead you need to try and look beyond it, preferably through their windshield. If there are several cars try and look through the spaces that divide them. In this way you will be sending vital information to your brain to enable you to react in good time in the event that there is an oncoming threat out there somewhere.

7. Use your tongue for balance and early warning

Balance is what your car and driving are all about. You lose balance and you have lost control. The technique used to make use of the tongue is to push it against the roof of your mouth. You will instantly be able to sense and “feel” what you vehicle is doing and react appropriately in good time long before you get to a situation where you just have milliseconds to do something. Use those nerve densely packed nerve endings on your tongue to drive like a pro. The pros do it and so should you.

8. Nine and three o’clock is correct and the commonly promoted 10 and 2 are wrong

One of the reasons why placing your hands at 10 o’clock and 2 o’clock has been overtaken by the times is because of the airbag. If your vehicle has an airbag this can be fatal. Besides 9 and 3 has it’s own many advantages. For instance if you by any chance lose control for a few seconds you would want your steering pointing straight ahead as you regain control. All you would have to do in this case is bring your hands back to their resting position which is your 9 and 3.

9. Do not brake with your right foot

By keeping your left foot hovering over the brakes you are dramatically reducing the time you will take to slow down and stop in an emergency. At the kind of speeds used on the highway this can easily translating to stopping 50 feet earlier than another driver unfamiliar with this technique. And that that is a huge difference.

10. Don’t do two things at the same time

Do not steer and brake at the same time. Do not accelerate and steer at the same time. Steering, braking and accelerating are three different things that must be done one at a time.

This article was contributed by Alex who works for sellbike.com. If you are looking to sell your bike make sure to visit us because we buy any motorbike.

Posted in Advice

Speed Limits: What are the maximum and minimum speed limits in major roads in the Philippines

slex-expressway-speed-limits

Many of us have been driving for quite some time now and many Filipino drivers are actually very adept in driving in here in the Philippines. We have actually gotten so skilled that we can almost imitate driver stunts seen on movies as many taxis, jeepneys, and other public utility vehicles (PUV) are doing. But satire aside while many drivers are proficient a lot of them lack knowledge about road and traffic rules (batas trapiko) and this is the reason why you see a lot of PUVs and even private vehicles drive recklessly.

Hopefully it changes as we move forward into a better future with better and stricter law implementation. We’ve seen a lot of changes already and it’s really good to see that traffic rules and laws are starting to get strictly implemented. Because if this our responsibility as drivers to know and abide by it must be reinforced. To do that knowing about speed limits in major expressways and major roads is a good start.

Speed limit refers to both maximum and minimum speeds allowed in a road. Both of them are critical and must be observed because driving beyond maximum and minimum are both dangerous to the driver and to other road users as well.

Below are the speed limits imposed in the country’s major expressways.

 

In Cavitex (Cavite Expressway), NLEX (North Luzon Expressway), SLEX (South Luzon Expressway), Skyway, and STAR Tollway, the minimum speed for all vehicles is 60kph; the maximum speed limit for cars is 100kph; and the maximum speed limit for buses and trucks is 80kph.

In SCTEX (Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway) and TPLEX (Tarlac-Pangasinan-La Union Expressway), the minimum speed for all vehicles is 60kph and the maximum speed for all vehicles is 100kph.

In commonwealth the maximum speed limit is 60kph while the minimum speed limit is not yet clearly defined within Republic Act 4136.

In EDSA the maximum speed limit is actually 40kph and 30kph for trucks and buses as is stated in RA 4136, while the minimum speed limit is yet to be stated (hopefully soon) in the Republic Act.

Right now every motorist adheres to the maximum speed limit in EDSA during the day and especially during rush hours as it is usually not possible to reach the speed of 20kph consistently due to heavy nose-to-tail traffic. If traffic flows are heavy in rush hour then it may not be possible to reach the minimum speeds consistently due to congestion, whereas in the middle of the night traffic is light and it’s possible for drivers to overspeed in EDSA

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Moving Out From One Place To Another And How To Do It Properly

You found a new career in another location, or perhaps you just can’t stand the ridiculous maintenance of your apartment anymore; or even better, you’ve just decided to start a family of your own. At some point in our life will have to move from one place to another. This is something that all of us will experience usually more than once in our life.

One of the toughest thing to deal with when moving out is moving your large items together with you. I’m talking about your mattress, the sofa set, and dining table, etc. Most of which are usually furnitures that if mishandled might cause damage to your stuff or even worse it might cause you your safety especially if you try to load into an unfit vehicle just like the one in the picture below.

mattress-on-car

It’s inevitable to not move something large when transferring from one place to another so in case you plan to do so then these are the best way to do it:

Hire a removals truck. Many call it “lipat bahay truck” here in the Philippines and there are plenty of them you can contact if you want their service. I actually tried to look for them online and in just 10 seconds I found some in Facebook and OLX: https://www.facebook.com/lipatbahaytruck/ and https://www.olx.ph/all-results/q-hauling-of-debris

This is the safest and most hassle-free way of moving your stuff to your new place. They often provide a driver plus 2-3 men to help you haul and unload your stuff to the truck.

Rent a truck. This is the cheapest option but you’ll have to load and unload your stuff yourself. Not quite an option if you are moving an office or if you are not a minimalist type.

Get a roof rack. This will securely hold a furniture on top of your vehicle. Ideally you should try to balance the weight as you load onto your car. Too much weight on the rear end and this will lift your front end and will get the car unbalanced in corners as it will affect your steering and make it more likely for you to understeer. This also means that your headlights will project higher that could dazzle other motorists.

Keep in mind to refrain from tying items onto the roof of your vehicle because obviously painted surfaces are more slippery and the load could easily move and worse damage your load if the rope gets compromised when turning. If you’re really persistent about tying stuff on your roof then use a rope canvass or stopper (better if with a ratchet to tighten it) and be sure to double check and tighten loose ends.

If you will travel a long distance with a heavy load on your roof then be sure to pack a little more pressure to your tires. But before you do so be sure to check out your manufacturer’s handbook first.  

Carrying items in your car

Things can become missiles in an accident. Keep a low center of gravity. Use a cargo net. Tie heavy items down. Really heavy items should have the seat belt passed through them if possible.

Pets should be in a pet harness or a cage tethered to a seat belt.

Don’t load items above the seat line in the boot.

Very heavy items can break through seat backs in an accident.

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Top Driving Violations With Highest Fines in the Philippines

If you are driving here in the Philippines whether as a local or a foreigner then here’s something that you’d want to checkout. Below is the list of traffic violations with the most pricey penalty charges. You can visit MMDA’s website to checkout the full list of traffic violations and penalties.

 

Code Violation 1st offense 2nd offense 3rd offense
067 USING MV IN COMMISSION OF CRIME 10,000.00 10,000.00 10,000.00
095 ILLEGAL TRANSFER OF PLATES / TAGS / STICKERS 7,500.00 7,500.00 7,500.00
015A COLORUM OPERATION (PASSENGER) – MMDA Reg. No. 97 – 004 5,000.00 5,000.00 5,000.00
203PRQ Drag Racing / Speed Contest – PARANAQUE MMDA MC No. 14-11 5,000.00 5,000.00 5,000.00
091 VIOLATION OF COMMEMORATIVE PLATE RULES & REGULATIONS 5,000.00 5,000.00 5,000.00
094 TAMPERING OF OR / CR / CPC & OTHER DOCUMENTS (SPURIOUS DOCUMENTS) – MMDA Reg. No. 97 – 004 5,000.00 5,000.00 5,000.00
190 FAILURE TO DISPLAY THE REGULAR PLATE (w/comm. Plate) 5,000.00 5,000.00 5,000.00
191 FAILURE TO CARRY ARMORED VEH. DOCUMENTS 5,000.00 5,000.00 5,000.00
192 LACK OF ARMORED VEHICLE MARKINGS 5,000.00 5,000.00 5,000.00
192 LACK OF ARMORED VEHICLE MARKINGS 5,000.00 5,000.00 5,000.00
009A *OUT OF LINE OPERATION – MMDA Reg. No. 97 – 004 5,000.00 5,000.00 5,000.00
1203 TOWING FEE STALLED / ILLEGALLY PARKED (HEAVY VEHICLES) 4,500.00 4,500.00 4,500.00
144 FAST / DEFECT / NON-OPER / TAMPERED TAXI METER 2,500.00 3,000.00 5,000.00
145 BROKEN TAXIMETER SEAL 2,500.00 3,000.00 5,000.00
146 FAKE /ALTERED TAXIMETER SEAL 2,500.00 3,000.00 5,000.00
147 TAMPERED TAXIMETER SEAL 2,500.00 3,000.00 5,000.00
203PSY Drag Racing / Speed Contest – PASAY MMDA MC No. 14-11 2,000.00 2,000.00 2,000.00
023A DRIVING AGAINST TRAFFIC 2,000.00 2,000.00 2,000.00
066 DRIVING UNDER INFLUENCE OF DRUGS 2,000.00 2,000.00 2,000.00
065 DRIVING UNDER INFLUENCE OF LIQUOR 2,000.00 2,000.00 2,000.00
210 Failure to Comply with LTFRB MC 2011-004 2,000.00 3,000.00 5,000.00
023B ILLEGAL OR UNAUTHORIZED COUNTERFLOW – MMDA Reg. No. 97 – 003 2,000.00 2,000.00 2,000.00
201M ***Overspeeding Macapagal Ave MMDA MC No. 14-11 2,000.00 2,000.00 2,000.00
204M **Reckless Driving – PASAY & PARANQUE (w/seminar) MMDA MC No. 14-11 2,000.00 2,000.00 2,000.00

 

 

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