Caught (up) in traffic

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Tutok – tailgating

September 2014
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A common practice of motorists along Philippine roads is tailgating. This is not only common in congested traffic, when vehicles are practically “bumper-to-bumper,” but also in free flowing traffic where drivers or riders tailgate for a number of reasons (e.g., to put pressure on the one ahead of them, to display skills in following closely behind another vehicle, etc.), all of which are dumb. There is always the risk that the driver or rider of the vehicle in front will brake to slow down or stop and the driver/rider of the vehicle behind will not be able to brake in time to hit (rear-end) the one ahead. Both time (reaction, headway) and space (distance between vehicles) are factors here as driver or rider reaction times vary and will affect the outcome of the chain of events should the leading vehicles suddenly slow down for any reason.

IMG09158-20140815-0835A passenger can only scratch her head as she tries to get back her fare from the conductor after alighting from a jeepney involved in a collision with another vehicle. Meanwhile, the driver of an owner-type jeepney inspects the damage to his vehicle as the driver of the jeepney that hit him looks on.

I was just explaining about Stopping Sight Distance (SSD) to a class of senior students and SSD very much applies to tailgating. Given varying traffic conditions along the roads, tailgating compromises the safe distance between vehicles and therefore too often leads to situations that lead to road crashes. Rear-end collisions in turn often lead to traffic congestion and raise the costs brought about by such incidents. In most cases, this happens because authorities are unable or incapable of managing the aftermath of the incidents where parties involved often argue in the middle of the road without regard for other road users plights. These cases need to be resolved quickly and efficiently in order to remove these obstacles from the road.


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