February 25, 2020
Dr. Stacy San Diego, M.D.
Texting while driving, although deemed dangerous and a precedent to accident, has become common among motorists. With the advancement of technology and our fast-paced lives, it is difficult not to be guilty of this habit. In the United States, most road accidents reported on the news are due to the drivers being distracted or driving under the influence. In the Philippines, however, road traffic accidents are mostly due to ignorance and arrogance.
More than 1.25 million people die every year due to road traffic crashes. Road traffic injury is the number one cause of death among 15 to 29 years old. Ninety percent of the world's fatalities on the roads occur in low and middle-income countries. These countries account for approximately 54% of the world's total number of vehicles. Nearly half of the deaths on the roads worldwide involve ‘vulnerable road users’ such as pedestrians, cyclists, and motorcyclists. 1
Road traffic accident has become a health concern despite the fact that health professionals have an unclear role on the prevention of the problem. Filipinos, in particular, have to rely on the government for the implementation of such prevention. Sadly, there is no comprehensive, nationwide database on road crash statistics in the Philippines. As the government struggle with handling road traffic, motorists have to rely on themselves to get through the day. Most drivers prioritize themselves and are hesitant to give way to other motorists. This most commonly result to road traffic accident. A 2017 report by the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) revealed an average of 25 accidents per day occur in the country’s major road, EDSA and the number has been rising since 2006. 2 The Department of Health in 2017 also reported that 6 out of 10 injuries in road accidents are motorcycle-related. 2 The Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) reported that deaths due to road crashes have never dropped below 8,000 since 2010.2