One of the most common driving mistakes you see in the Philippines is drivers not making a left turn correctly.
The mistakes they make are cutting the corner, incorrect positioning before making the left turn, being in the wrong lane and contraflow before making the turn.
All these things are not only dangerous, they also are a major cause of congestion. People moan about the traffic in the Philippines but they are often causing traffic by the way they drive.
The correct way to make a left turn
- Turn on your left-hand indicator (signal light)
- Check your left-hand mirror to make sure you can move over.
- Move over so you are close to the centre of the road while taking care not to cross the centre line.
- Keep going until you are at 90 degrees to the road you are turning into.
- Give way to traffic coming towards you.
- Make sure you can make the turn without slowing down approaching traffic, if they have to slow down for you then you are causing congestion.
- Check mirror again and make the left turn making sure that no part of your vehicle enters the right hand of the road you are turning into, in other words do not cut the corner.
- Turn off indicator once you have made the turn.
Common faults, problems and traffic rules
Lets take a look at the common faults, the problems they cause and how they break traffic rules.
Cutting the corner
The main reason not to do this is the danger, it often means you are turning blind because of walls, foliage, fences etc. blocking your view so you can’t see on coming vehicles, so the possibility of a head-on accident is very high.
By cutting a corner you are also holding up traffic that is approaching the junction.
You also are contraflowing twice, contraflowing is a big fine and by cutting a corner when turning left you could end up with 2 fines for contraflowing.
Incorrect positioning means you hold up traffic behind you which causes congestion and can lead to traffic jams. It also increases the chance of someone rear-ending you.
When turning left unless there is markings on the road or signs stating otherwise, there is only one lane to use and that is the left most lane of the right side of the road. Forming extra lanes to turn left is probably the biggest cause of traffic jams in the Philippines, so don’t do it be patient and wait your turn, we all hate being stuck in traffic so do not make extra lanes to turn left and cause traffic jams.
What can you do to teach others
The more people learn to drive correctly the less accidents and the less traffic jams there will be.
Step one is to share this article.
Step two is teach by example. People are like sheep they follow what other people do, if they see enough people making left turns correctly they will start to follow suit. So lead by example.
About the Author
The author of this post has 4.6 million kilometres (equal to 114 times round the world) of driving experience as a professional driver of 44 ton trucks in 7 different countries. He also holds a Certificate of Professional Competence in Transport management.