Don’t die on the road during the holidays: Tips on avoiding fatal mishaps | Inquirer News

Don’t die on the road during the holidays: Tips on avoiding fatal mishaps

By: - Content Researcher Writer / @inquirerdotnet
/ 10:22 AM December 31, 2023

Don’t die on the road during the holidays: Tips on avoiding fatal mishaps


MANILA, Philippines—As the holiday season whirls into full swing, the public is reminded to be responsible, stay vigilant, and take it slow — quite literally — to prevent road mishaps during what should be the most joyful time of the year.

Last week, Assistant Transportation Secretary Vigor D. Mendoza I, chief of the Land Transportation Office (LTO), urged motorists to avoid drinking parties if they are driving after. It’s for their own and others’ safety, he said.


Beyond the risk of being apprehended for violating Republic Act (RA) No. 10586, also known as the “Anti-Drunk and Drugged Driving Act of 2013,” Mendoza stressed on a more alarming concern.


He pointed out that the real fear lies in the potential of being involved in a road accident, endangering not only one’s life but also the lives of other individuals on the road.

road crash statistics in metro manila


“If one cannot resist the temptation to get drunk, just make sure that there will be one sober person to drive you home, or better yet, just commute or get a cab to get home,” Mendoza said in a statement.

“If you insist on driving while intoxicated, you might wake up in a hospital, or worse, it could be your last round, leading you straight to the funeral and cemetery,” he warned motorists.

Mendoza’s warning aligns with the directive of Transportation Secretary Jaime J. Bautista, emphasizing the need to prioritize the safety of all road users, particularly as the volume of vehicles is anticipated to rise during the Yuletide season.

Increasing road traffic deaths

The Department of Health (DOH), citing data from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), said that an increasing trend of road traffic deaths was seen in the country in the past decade.

In 2020, there was a decrease in the number of fatalities, with 8,746 reported deaths. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the decline can be attributed to the reduced movement of the population that year, largely influenced by the COVID-19 pandemic.


However, in 2021, the number of fatalities saw an increase, rising to 11,096, which was connected with the easing of lockdowns and mobility restrictions — a 39 percent jump from the 7,938 deaths recorded in 2011.

road deaths


WHO also noted that road traffic injuries are the leading cause of death among Filipinos 15-29 years old, and a major killer of children in the country.

“Road traffic injuries are a major yet often neglected public health issue. Deaths and injuries from road crashes are preventable, and all sectors have roles to play in promoting road safety,” said Dr Rui Paulo de Jesus, WHO representative to the Philippines.

Drunk driving, road accidents

According to the Metro Manila Development Authority’s (MMDA) annual Metro Manila Accident Recording and Analysis System report, the number of fatal road crash cases tend to rise during the holidays.

The peak months for fatal road accidents in 2021 were February and December, each seeing a total of 38 tragic cases.

The 38 fatal road accidents in December 2021 surged to 49 in January of the following year, marking it as the month with the highest number of recorded fatal road crashes in 2022. November and December, the second-highest months, each had 43 fatal road crashes during that year.

Intoxication, or too much alcohol intake, does not only cause heart problems, it could also lead to road accidents and deaths.

drunk driving cases


While the MMDA’s data did not specify whether all the highly fatal cases resulted from drunken driving, previous statistics from the LTO Law Enforcement Services (LES) indicated a rise in road accidents associated with intoxicated driving.

Between January and December 2021, LTO-LES responded to 73 road accidents, and out of these, 68 drivers were found to be under the influence of alcohol. In 2022, between January and October, the number of road accidents increased significantly to 546, with 489 cases involving intoxicated drivers.

During an interview last year, an LTO official explained that road accidents related to intoxicated drivers often result from speeding. This is because, in most cases, when an individual has consumed alcohol, their motor control is significantly impaired.

Penalties for drunk driving

RA No. 10586, or the Anti-Drunk and Drugged Driving Act of 2013, is a law specifically written to prohibit and penalize people who drive under the influence of alcohol, dangerous drugs, and other intoxicating substances.

Republic Act No. 10586


According to the law, a driver found to have been driving a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol, dangerous drugs and/or other similar substances, shall be penalized depending on the offense committed:

  • If you fail the field sobriety tests, the breathalyzer exam, and the drug test: A fine of between P50,000 and P100,000 and a six-month prison sentence.
  • If drunk driving resulted in physical injury: Imprisonment and steeper fines ranging from P150,000 to P250,000
  • If drunk driving resulted in the loss of life or homicide: Imprisonment and fines ranging from P350,000 to P500,000. Any subsequent car insurance claims may also be rejected.
  • If you are a non-professional driver’s license holder: Your license will be confiscated and suspended for 18 months for the first conviction and permanently revoked for the second.
  • If you are a professional driver’s license holder: Your license will be confiscated and permanently revoked for the first conviction and you can no longer apply for another license in the future.

Road safety during the holidays

WHO Philippines stressed that vehicle crash deaths and injuries are preventable.

To assist drivers in safely navigating the holiday season, the organization has encouraged motorists to take into account the following holiday road safety recommendations:

Before the trip:

  • Check your vehicle. Make sure the car is in top shape before you get on the road.
  • Plan your route before you drive. Know the basics of which roads and turns you need to take. Look for places along the route where you can stop and take a break.
  • Have enough rest. Get a full night’s sleep before the trip to prevent drowsiness.
  • Bring emergency road kits in case of unexpected events. At the least, it should have a first aid kit, a flashlight, car fluids and tools, and early warning signs, among others.

Road safety during the holidays

10 things to check before driving


On the day of the trip:

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  • Drive during the day. If you must travel, try to get on the road during the day to be more aware of your surroundings.
  • Stick by the rules. Basic driving guidelines and traffic laws should be observed and adhered to at all times.
  • Don’t drive while distracted. Don’t text, read a message, or call someone while driving.
  • Don’t drink and drive. If there will be drinking at your holiday get-together, choose a designated driver who will remain alcohol-free.

“To our motorists, always remember that you have a spouse, whom you promise to grow old with, children who still depend on you, and family members who are waiting for you in your homes,” Mendoza said.

“Let’s not exchange a brief moment of happiness for a lifetime of regret. Let’s be responsible drivers so that we don’t encounter any problems,” he added.


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TAGS: Drunk driving, Holiday, INQFocus, LTO, New Year 2024, RA No. 10586, road accidents, WHO

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