Category Archives: Safety

Why Dashcams are Essential to Young Drivers

I have 3 kids who are in college. They all drive to school. As a father, one of my biggest fears is that they encounter problems while driving.

Particularly, I am worried that my kids will be subjected to unpleasant hazards while driving like:

  1. Dishonest drivers who refuse to accept responsibility for car accidents they clearly caused.
  2. Fraudsters and unscrupulous pedestrians causing their own accidents to blackmail motorists .
  3. Hot headed drivers with road rage tendencies.
  4. Corrupt policemen harassing drivers for committing unfounded “violations”.

In my over 30 years of driving in the Philippines, I’ve had my share of encounters with these hazards and often they left me stressed, angry, or depressed for several days. In those situations, it was always my word against the other party and more often than not, we end up with either a stalemate (I’m left to fix my own damage and the other party gets scot free) or worse, I lose the argument (I pay the ticket or damages or I get hurt) due to lack of evidence for my defence.

To protect my kids from these situations, I use a dashcam.


Dashboard Cameras (or dashcams) provide useable evidence to defend the driver against the other party. If a dishonest driver or a fraudster pedestrian insists that an accident is my kid’s fault, the dash cam allows me to establish otherwise. If the “road raged” driver does anything violent, the dash cam provides evidence to file complaints against him. And if a corrupt policeman tries to harass my kid, the dashcam helps prove my child’s innocence.

Continue reading Why Dashcams are Essential to Young Drivers

Best Anti-Drunk Driving Campaign: A Great Way to Get Sober Fast

A popular bar/restaurant in India wanted to promote responsible driving to its clients. Particularly, they don’t want drunk people to drive. But instead of just giving out fliers or putting up posters, they did something much better — they literally scared the people into becoming a bit more sober right before driving.

In India, of the many supernatural beings they believe in, apparently the most fearsome being is the Hindu diety named Yama, the God of Death. Imagine him paying you a visit in your car right before you drive off… now, that’s scary.

A Youtube video shows the reactions of the many party-goers (i.e. “victims”) who had a close encounter with “death himself”. In the end, the scene looks like a gag or practical joke. But I guess it drove home a good point.

To see the video, click here >>.

If we did something like this here in the Philippines, a hooded guy in a black cloak holding a sythe may have a similar impact. But if the “victim” is way too drunk to appreciate the joke, our hooded guy might just end up badly beaten up by the same person he is trying to save.

Photo credits:

By afroboof / Driver’s Seat [Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-SA 2.0)] on Flickr

and By Rob Boudon / Grim Reaper From Guitar Hero – Halloween (2006) [Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)] on Flickr.

Suzuki @ work – free comprehensive checkup even for out-of-warranty Suzuki vehicles

Last week, I received an invitation to ‘Suzuki @ work,’ an after-sales service camp. My first question was: “I’ve heard of band camp and boot camp, but what exactly is a service camp?”

Suzuki Service Manager Rommel Cabanela humored me with an answer:

“A Suzuki service camp is like an assembly line where the vehicle passes through three stations or bays. Each bay has a team of qualified technicians and mechanics checking a specific portion of the check list.”

Oh, it’s a highly efficient setup for doing vehicle check ups…. nice.
Anyway, I’ve had my share of car check ups and I’m not about to be impressed easily. So I looked around further.

The service camp is a free 23 point check up for Suzuki vehicles. I noticed that they are quite strict about this — Suzuki personnel followed the 23 point check list to the letter.

“It’s essential that we don’t miss anything.” Cabanela adds.

In the first bay, the vehicle’s general condition is checked. The aircon, windows, mirrors, wipers, and all the lights are examined while the hand and foot brake are adjusted as well. An inspection of the under chassis – front and rear brakes, transmission – follows. In the second bay, wheel bearing, the condition of tires and power steering hoses and fluids are checked. At the last station, Suzuki engineers look under the hood and check engine performance with the use of Suzuki Diagnostic Tool (SDT). The condition of the belts, engine and engine oil, as well as ignition timing are examined at the last bay.

The whole process is documented in a service check-list that accompanies the vehicle through the three bays. Customers are given recommendations on specific areas of the unit that require servicing. And they get a 15 % discount on parts on their next visit.

The latest leg of Suzuki @ Work was held at Suzuki Auto Shaw, Mandaluyong last October 13 to 14. To get the latest Suzuki @ Work schedules, visit their website or call their customer care hotline 902 1001.

Scammer on the street – caught on video

Here’s a solid reason why you need a dash cam — you need to protect yourself from scammers on the streets.

I just saw a video taken in Taiwan where a street scammer jumped in front of a car, faked her injury, and clearly tried to get something from the driver. Unfortunately for her, the driver was lucky (or smart) enough to have a video camera running on his dashboard. He captured the entire scene which undeniably disproves any claims against him.

See more by watching this video uploaded by  on Youtube.

[youtube video=’r2n96DQgxAk’ width=’500′ height=’350′ vparams=’rel=0|border=0′]

My friend had a similar incident in the Philippines years ago. A street beggar claimed to have been “slightly hit” by my friend’s car along Ortigas Avenue. My friend vehemently denied the allegation and swore to fight this claim even if it takes years. I understand they eventually settled out of court.

I don’t know for sure if my friend was guilty or innocent. But I always had this feeling that something was not right about the whole incident… and I’m always afraid that something like that could also happen to me or anyone else in my family since we drive around every day.

So let this be a warning for motorists — there are scammers on the streets. Get a dash cam and keep it rolling. Who knows, in the future, it could save you from a lot of stress, court appearances, insurance fees, and settlement money.

The Best Car Insurance for 2012

The best car insurance in the Philippines for 2012 is a comprehensive insurance policy. Third party liability insurance is mandatory by law, but that is not enough to eliminate all the risks involved in driving. A comprehensive policy will cover bodily injury, property damage and unnamed passenger personal accident. The car is protected and the people in it are protected.

There is also total protector insurance that includes the compulsory third party liability and loss or damage of car and theft as well as protection from acts of nature such as an earthquake, typhoon or flood. Then there is also finance available for loans for people with bad credit. It can also give legal assistance and bail bond, road assistance, towing expenses, a waiver of deductible and depreciation as well as many other options.

Continue reading The Best Car Insurance for 2012

Safe Driving Features

Driving is such a nonchalant type of activity nowadays that most people don’t give it much thought. But despite its outstanding prevalence, driving is still a dangerous activity in many ways. High speeds, heavy vehicles, and different driving skill levels, among many other factors, all contribute to potential danger on the roads. If you’re seeking out the safest possible trip for you and your family every time you drive, you’ll need to depend on a few key car components designed to make every drive safer. Some are obvious safety features, while others are less clear. Whatever they are, however, you want to keep these safety components in good shape, so that you and your passengers always make it safely from Point A to Point B and beyond.

Seat Belts

This may be the most obvious piece of advice ever, but it warrants repeating: seat belts save lives. Malfunctioning or broken seat belts should be replaced immediately, and extensions should be purchased for those too large to fit under normal seat belts. These essential safety devices don’t have to be completely boring, however. Many owners take advantage of racing seats and seat belts that strap on differently as they add some nice aesthetic touches to a car, truck, or SUV. So seat belts don’t have to be boring, even if they always have to be worn.

Tail Lights

Tail lights don’t seem like safety components on first glance, but nothing could be further from the truth. Well-lit tail lights inform drivers to your car’s rear about when you’re slowing down, stopping, or even inform them where you are when driving at night. A busted tail light is one less obvious warning signal for other drivers to take notice of, and all of these signals are essential for helping to avoid accidents. If you drive a lot at night, you need to take particular care of making sure your car’s tail lights work and are bright enough to be seen at a distance and through light fog, so that any driver behind you can always be aware of exactly where you and your vehicle are.

Air Bags

When a crash is swift and forceful, air bags serve as a last defense against severe injury, and even death. Quick to burst out and expand, air bags can inflate faster than someone can even recognize that an accident is occurring. Many drivers believe that they’ll be able to hold in during a crash because they’ll see what’s coming, but that often isn’t the case. And besides, the force of a crash at high speed makes it nearly impossible for a person to hold him/herself back from being thrust forward or to the side. An air bag isn’t something you ever want to see deployed in your car, but even though you may never see it, you’ll surely be glad it’s there just in case.

What makes a good driver?

Although this is Pinoy Auto Blog, being a good driver encompasses the whole world.

Gaby Dela Merced, just one of the PH best drivers

This infograph shows what a good driver should be (that is, according to the insurance world that is)

A good driver should be:

  • Licensed
  • Without more than one violation point
  • Without more than one dismissal of charges for incidents that would have resulted in one violation point
  • Without DUIs during the past seven years

Is there such a driver in the Philippines? Are you one? If you have yet to drive, then it would be best to make this your goal. If you are already driving then maintain your pristine record. If you are missing one or a few of the qualities above, don’t give up being a good driver.

How Good is Your Driving

How good is your driving? by Car Insurance Comparison

Image By SpoonerTuner (Spooner Tuner) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Sen. Trillanes Wants Speed Limiters on PUVs

Senator Trillanes wants to even further limit the speed of Public Utility Vehicles (PUV) with his Senate Bill No. 2790 or the proposed “Speed Limiters Act of 2011.”

“It is hoped that by enforcing strict compliance with the mandated speed limits in various streets, highways and thoroughfares, vehicular accidents caused by speeding is reduced and that lives will be saved,” said Trillanes.

The proposal suggests that PUV operators/owners will shoulder the cost of buying/installing speed limiter and the Department of Transportation and Communication (DOTC) will observe the installation. The proposal also says that the Land Transportation Office (LTO) will not register PUVs without any speed limiting device.

Once passed and implemented, violators will be fined PHP 30,000 and a jail term of up to 3 years.

[Article via: Top Gear PH | Image via: 9shaun at the English language Wikipedia [GFDL, CC-BY-SA-3.0, GFDL or CC-BY-SA-3.0], from Wikimedia Commons

MMDA posts pictures of speeding violators

After more than a hundred years of independence, it would have been comforting to know that have made steps towards civilization. Not really. Despite all the “developments” we see here there and elsewhere, it seems like someone from the government with a “brilliant idea” would throw us back a couple of hundred years back.

In previous news, Commonwealth Avenue, the death highway,  got a speed limit of 60 kph. And they did that after some government bigwig got killed by a rampaging bus. Never mind if it ever occurred to government officials that maybe it’s not the speed. Maybe it’s idiots on the road that’s more of a threat.

They say that the speed limit has made Commonwealth safer. But in a road with a billion lanes, 60 kph in modern day motoring is slow. A trip that used to take ten minutes when you can at least go at 70 or 80 kph just got longer. And in Metro conditions, minutes count especially once you deal with the other clogged arteries of Quezon City. Speed doesn’t kill. Suddenly coming to a halt is what gets you. Or some other idiot on the road. Both, I guess.

Continue reading MMDA posts pictures of speeding violators

LTFRB Cebu Recommends Franchise PUVs Only

The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board in Cebu is advising all commuters to only ride on buses that are registered with them.

It’s expected that on the Holy Week holidays, people will be coming to and fro from different places. This usually means a lot of business for the franchised bus companies, but it also means that the unregistered buses will be roaring down the roads with them. Unfortunately, compared to those with a franchise, the riders of unregistered buses won’t have any covered insurance.

According to the LTFRB, that commuters should only ride on public terminals as only those PUVs with franchises can enter them.

[Article via: Philippine Information Agency | Image via: Wikimedia Commons [Unported CC by-SA 3.0])