Cars have always been a big part of the busy streets in the Metro. Unfortunately, with the increasing number of cars on the road comes the increasing number of potential car accidents. Some of these accidents can be caused by drivers swerving across the streets. Now, what is swerving? Swerving is an act of abruptly switching lanes for various reasons. But more importantly, is swerving a violation?
To answer that question, the act of swerving itself isn’t a violation of the law. This is clearly stated in the MMDA’s (Metropolitan Manila Development Authority) official website. However, if done incorrectly, it could cause a big problem on the road and could potentially be dangerous to others. For example, if one swerved without signaling, one could get a penalty for not signaling. This is called “Failure to give proper signal”. Or if one swerved without any safety regards to his surroundings, it could lead to a reckless driving charge.
The act of swerving could also have a lot of different interpretations depending on whose point of view. For example, An MMDA officer stationed at that area might see it as an act of reckless driving in itself. To avoid such misinterpretation, one should change lanes properly. So, how do you do it?
How To “Swerve” Safely
First, you have to make sure that it is okay to change lanes. How would know that? Solid white lines indicate that it’s a no swerving zone or you could just look out for signs that indicate it’s a “no swerving zone”. Secondly, you have to use your signal lights and signal to which direction you intend to go. This is a vital key to the whole process because it warns other drivers that you are about to change lanes. Signaling could help you avoid potential road mishap.
Next, look at your side mirrors if there are any approaching cars behind you. Then, assess if it’s safe to change lanes or not. Finally, exercise caution. Though you probably would not want to do this frequently because this may not be a violation of the law, but in terms of driving ethics, this definitely is. Drivers who change lanes carelessly endanger others.
Accidents can happen when a driver changes lanes and cuts off another driver who is forced to brake abruptly. Furthermore, going back and forth between lanes confuses other drivers on which lane you’re really going to take.
If, by any chance, you are stopped by a traffic officer due to such circumstances, never argue with an officer. Because you could be charged with arrogance. Calmly ask what your violation is and hand them the documents needed.
To sum it all up, swerving is not a violation of the law. But, it is a violation of driver’s ethics. Always consider the people around you and assess your surroundings first before doing such act and don’t forget to drive properly.
Have other questions about cars and motoring? Share it with us in the comments! We might feature it in future articles on the Yaman blog.