Traffic > Safety

Some drivers just need to chill

Why the rush?

SUV drivers don't have the best reputation. PHOTO BY LEANDRO MANGUBAT

While biking on my way home, I was about to turn left to enter my village gate when a driver behind me honked his horn. I gave a hand signal telling him I would turn in a few meters.

Yet, he still tried to squeeze his SUV on my left to overtake me, only stopping because he was about to hit my outstretched hand. After I entered the gate, the driver also did the same. So, his attempt to overtake was pointless since he had to slow down, too.

There’s a common joke that people driving like that probably need to go to the bathroom to take a dump. Funny as it may be, it doesn’t justify driving dangerously, especially on residential streets.

The few seconds or minutes that could be potentially saved aren’t worth risking the lives of people for, whether they’re on foot, on a bicycle, on a motorcycle, or on some other personal mobility device.

The minimum passing distance should be at least 3ft—feet, not inches. PHOTO BY LEANDRO MANGUBAT

If you really need to overtake, please remember to leave enough space. What’s considered the minimum safe passing distance varies, ranging as close as a meter to as far as 1.5m. Either way, the point is to pass vulnerable road users as if they were a car, so that drivers don’t risk hitting them or running them off the road.

It might not matter to you, but close passes are life-or-death moments to those outside an automobile, especially when cars go full speed. It feels like narrowly dodging a bullet, and we’re pretty sure you wouldn’t want yourself or your loved ones to experience that as well.

You might point out: What about all of those people on two wheels who suddenly cut drivers off? Well, I agree that they should be defensive on the road, not offensive. Still, the recklessness of others doesn’t excuse you from being aggressive behind the wheel.

Don’t have enough space? Then wait for the right opportunity. The world isn’t going to end just because you’re behind someone slower.

Leandro Mangubat

Leandro is our staff writer. Although having a background in mechanical engineering, he enjoys photography and writing more.