Raves and Rants Uncategorized

I’m right, you’re wrong

Says in Wikipedia:

“Vehicles will often come into conflict with other vehicles because their intended courses of travel intersect, and thus interfere with each other’s routes. The general principle that establishes who has the right to go first is called “right of way”, or “priority”. It establishes who has the right to use the conflicting part of the road and who has to wait until the other driver does so.”

You know what they are, don’t you?  If not (and I do hope you don’t have a driver’s license if this is the case), I’m giving some examples of right-of-way rules:

1) When two cars reach an intersection at the same time, the one on the left yields to the one on the right,

2) In roundabout roads, a.k.a. rotundas, those who are already in the road yield the right of way to those who are just entering it,

3) Intersection again, but this time three vehicles get to it at the same time. The “right-side” rule no longer applies. Instead, the two cars who are facing opposite each other have priority over the third.

 There’s actually a lot more, but this post isn’t a tutorial on basic right-of-way rules. At any rate, no matter what the rules are or how different they are from one country to the next, there’s an instruction common to all countries:


Which makes a lot of sense, really. What if you’re against a drunk driver who couldn’t see you if your plate number is five inches away from his face? Insisting on your right-of-way would almost certainly end in disaster, right?

Sadly, though, as a long-time observer of traffic in Metro Manila, I could say without reservation that the “not insisting on your right-of-way” policy doesn’t apply here. Why? Two reasons:

1) The few who have been schooled on the right-of-way rule usually only remember the “do not insist” part. Of course we would, that’s an instant loophole to get our way of the highway. Since you’re not supposed to insist on your ROW, the other motorist would expect you to do this and therefore try to get one up over you. How many times have I seen this happen: running full throttle into an intersection to get the better of those motorists who looked first before proceeding; turning left on unprotected intersections without regard to oncoming traffic; merging into traffic without regard to motorists who have merged in before you. And when accidents do happen, the one who’d be adjudge at fault is not the one who proceeded without a right-of-way, but rather the one who insisted on his. Maybe in the Philippines, we should be required to insist on our right-of-way, because the opposite is turning out to be ridiculous. Like, “Officer, it’s his fault because he insisted on his right of way!”  How stupid is that?

2) Second reason much simpler. As evidenced by the way drivers behave on the road, an estimated 6 out of 10 drivers do not know what a right-of-way is.  Two out of 10 do not care. And 1.9 out of 10 think they’re always right.

I know someone who rear-ended me while I’m at full stop, and she still thinks it’s my fault.


By quistian

An incorrigible Gen-X cynic who writes too damn much