In 2017, the Philippines earned the ignominy of being the worst place for driving in the world. That was according to Waze’s Driver Satisfaction Index. I have no idea how we fared in the following years, but I wouldn’t be surprised if we retained the humiliating crown. Just go out for a short drive and you’ll know what I mean. Filipinos suck at driving, period. Not all, of course. But it’s so bad that going out for a leisurely spin is like playing the Russian roulette. Need proof? Click here, here and here.
Our motoring scene is chaotic simply because we do not educate our drivers. In this country, anyone can operate a motor vehicle (and get a legitimate driver’s license) without the proper know-how. So what we have out there is complete pandemonium—like throwing blindfolded fighters into the ring and asking them to go at it. And the government doesn’t seem to care.
Thankfully, companies like Ford Philippines want to help. The automaker’s “Driving Skills for Life” program, now in its 13th edition, is alive and well. And it’s already virtual. What used to be a face-to-face training session will now be conducted online to protect participants in the pandemic.
I got a taste of the DSFL’s virtual version recently, conducted by a
movie actor professional driving instructor (JP Tuason of Tuason Racing School). Some of the things he presented were basic—I had been attending such workshops for decades, obviously—but I’m certain regular motorists would benefit from this. For instance, how much safer would our roads be if everyone knew the safe distance a driver needs to maintain from the vehicle ahead of him/her? And can you even correctly identify the fluids that go into your car? Can you tell if your tires need replacing?
The truth is that most of us operate motor vehicles without understanding how these things really work. Heck, we don’t even read the owner’s manual that came with our car.
“This year, we are making the DSFL a more relevant training program for our participants by sharing the necessary driving habits and skills as they navigate the roads in the new normal,” says Ford Philippines communications AVP EJ Francisco.
The nice thing about the virtual edition of the DSFL is that the training module now includes practical tips on how to maintain and clean your vehicle in the time of the coronavirus.
It was my first exposure to the program, and I was so impressed that I even pestered Ford to give me some snippets of the presentation so I could share with readers. Unfortunately, you need to join the program if you want to acquire the basic driving skills necessary to be a responsible and competent car owner.
Interested? According to a post on the company’s Facebook page:
There will be a number of sessions that will be open to the public. The first session will be on September 30 (Thursday) at 1pm. The first 100 participants who will register here until September 29 at 12nn will get a slot and will be contacted for the Zoom link of the DSFL session.
Go get yourself a slot.