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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Since Mike appreciated my intro and Thailand stories I thought I would give a few more.

Navigating intersections can be tricky especially since most don’t have traffic lights. The worst one is at the north end of town. This is a 3-way intersection. Coming from the north is a steep blind corner and the traffic tears down the hill like they don’t have brakes. If coming from the south and heading north I have to cross this lane since driving in the left lane. Also, you must aware of traffic coming from the west. I found the safest way to cross into this intersection is to wait for a car going the same direction and use it as a shield.

Some of the unusual things I’ve seen are watching a family of 5 people on a scooter. Two adults and three small children. Seeing people riding on the sidewalk is common or people riding the wrong way down a one-way street. People will ride one handed while smoking a cigarette or talking on their cell.

I always get nervous when making a right turn at an intersection. It’s a must to signal but a couple of times just as I started to turn someone came screaming by to the right of me just barely missing me. I rarely wish harm to people but there are exceptions.

I don’t think people here have a death wish but in the Buddhist culture they believe in reincarnation so dying isn’t a real fear since they will come back in another life.

I’ve read 40 people die every day in scooter accidents here. My guess is that’s on a good day.
 

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I have lived in the Philippines for 10 years now. Sounds the same as here - but it's much worse here.

There is very little policing of vehicles, so you have cars, truck, lorries and motorcycles without headlights, indicators, brake lights and mirrors. Most older vehicles are unregistered and also have bald tyres because the owner/driver can't afford new tires or the cost of registration, and they know the chances of being caught are very low.

Combine this with the attrocious roads and it a recipe for disaster (to use an old cliche).

In 2016 there were 1,591 motorcycle deaths PER DAY. Since then helmets have become mandatory, but the number of riders has greatly increased since then, so I wouldn't be surprised if the figure is around the same or higher.

EDIT: I just Googled it - in Metro Manila alone there were 229 deaths per day in 2020, so the country looks pretty well on track for a similar outcome as 2016.
 
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