Car warning signs that Filipino drivers should know, or safety is compromised

Oct 24, 2018 | Same topic: Let's drive smart!
Get to know what factors can compromise driver safety, especially serious dangers that jeopardizes them.

Before disaster strikes when driving, it’s better to recognize factors that can endanger drivers on the road. Knowing these car warning signs can make a difference in averting an accident!

I. “Russian Roulette” driving is not advised!

Like the name, Russian Roulette implies, that it is a serious threat to a driver’s well-being if safe driving is violated. As a practical rule, safety precautions when driving should adhere, so nothing bad happens. Common sense dictates that both driver and car are one-hundred per cent, in condition. Or as Murphy’s laws can exact a minor or great toll, should it lead to a worst-case scenario.

russian roulette

“Russian Roulette” driving is not advised!

Many of these car warning signs that every driver should know are either obvious, or it will nip when least expected. All of them are either hidden or are obvious, so it’s important to feel out what’s happening. Which is exactly the issue; because we need to be conscious of what is happening while driving. There is a fine line that can be crossed easily and overall car safety unravels if the threshold is crossed.

All the conditions will be gone over and how they can be solved easily. But, nipping these problems before it gets bigger is the key to minimizing them.

II. What to look out for!

It’s wise to think and stop while ahead! But, it’s not always like that and safety is sometimes forgotten for just a moment. In instances like these, it allows uncontrolled variables to come in and allow chaos to do its job! This is what this primer is about so that such warning signs that every driver should know can help minimize compromised safety.

1. Driving distractedly is not advised.

Recently authorities have warned drivers about the use of devices or anything that can distract attention while driving. The LTO has issue RA 10913 or the Anti-Distracted Driving Act that prohibits the use of mobile devices while driving. Unfortunately, the introduction of touchscreen consoles in cars can be dangerous. Some vital car functions are accessed using the touchscreen when switches and old-style rotary controls would be better.

distract driving

Recently authorities have warned drivers about the use of devices or anything that can distract attention while driving

2. Are the warning indicators working fine?

Located on the dash is the instrumentation panel with all the light and indicators to warn of any problem. Find more about important car warning signs on the dashboard here.

These assistive features will make the driver aware and act on what the indicator is warning about. Such functions cannot be turned off, because these indicators indicate a status that needs immediate attention! Without these simple warning light, there’s no way to know what’s up with the car! Driving without them working is not advised at all!

car warning indicators on dashboard

Located on the dash is the instrumentation panel with all the light and indicators to warn of any problem

3. Is the car equipped with airbags?

Now, is the car equipped with airbags and what kind of airbag? The standard airbag would be the dual airbag, located at the front. In most frontal collisions, dual airbags are the go-to equipment for most lost cost sub-compacts. Recently, the development of the side, curtain, and knee airbag helps in adding more safety and minimize all related injuries too. Most cars will have dual airbags, but some will have the full complement.

4. Is the driver fatigued?

This is the most common problem that plagues most drivers who don’t have enough rest, and it leads to accidents too. This is considered distracted driving, but this is much worse and should be avoided. Going on long road trips without a companion is not advised because it’s tiring for a single driver. These long drives are not advisable unless ways to lessen fatigue.

5. Are the brakes okay?

It’s important to know if the brakes are working properly because they stop the car and slow it down. Checking on the brake fluid when it does not seem to engage well if the brake pedal is stepped on. Make sure that the car is equipped with anti-lock brakes, and it works properly. The electronic brakeforce distribution and the brake assist is working well. These braking systems are crucial, but the handbrake should be working as well.

Other things to check is that the sensors work properly, this shows up when the car warning light is lit. All these abnormalities are happening; have it check asap or be sorry later.

car brakes

It’s important to know if the brakes are working properly because they stop the car and slow it down

6. Is everyone strapped in by seatbelts?

Strapping in by using seatbelts is s.o.p when inside a car, and not wearing a seatbelt is not advisable. It’s important to wear seatbelts because it anchors everyone to their seats.

In the case of a collision, sensors pull it tight against the body with the pretensioner that adjusts how tight it gets. Seatbelts that have emergency locking retractors and pretensioner is the best option if children are using it. It may not be really considered a major warning sign, but it shows how unmindful it is not to use the seatbelts.

7. Has the car passed all safety tests and is safe for both adults and children?

Well, this could be something of an after-thought but is the car rated at four or five-star safety rating for both adults and children. Most crash-worthy cars have sufficient protection for the central compartment if the rating isn’t less than four-stars. One more thing to note, if child protection isn’t lower than the standard. Some brands tend to have a discrepancy when it comes to covering child safety though.

8. If a certain car problem crops up, again and again.

Whenever a particular problem with the car is fixed; and it needs repair again, then have it checked. Vital systems like the ignition, electrical, CPU control, and sensors need to be working well. Safety systems will be compromised if such a condition if left unchecked!

wear seatbelts in car

Strapping in by using seatbelts is s.o.p when inside a car, and not wearing a seatbelt is not advisable

Some solutions that will help to eliminate these car warning signs. It’s important to act on it, soon or experience difficulty later.

1. Never use any gadget or device while driving, or pull to the should if necessary to call back and text. Either use a handsfree device or the cars-in-call-system to make calls, without touching any gadget.

2. If any of the indicators don’t work, it can be the fuse or the sensor itself needs to be checked. CPU controlled functions can be very trippy at a time, care should be taken to check it.

3. If the car is equipped with dual airbags, then it’s good but if it doesn’t. It’s better to drive safely and carefully all the time than to tempt fate.

4. Never drive when tired, just stay in one place until rested. Another option is to have someone to keep the driver awake and prevent him from dozing off.

5. Brakes are usually trouble free but take time to put brake fluid. If the warning sign goes off, and some braking power is lost then pullover. Find the nearest service station or call a mechanic to have it fixed.

6. Put on all seat belts for all passengers, including the driver. Secure children as advised in the car manual to avoid serious injuries.

7. This can’t be helped; cars that aren't sub-compact, chances are that it’s got good safeties. Although, further checking online for safety ranking can confirm, if it's maximized for child safety. Should it be equipped with 3-pt. ELR seatbelts (with pretensioner) and Isofix mounts, then it’s good!

8. Same and repetitive car problems will need immediate attention whether minor or major. “An ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure”, to quote a popular saying.

These are what to look out for and are car warning signs that every driver should know, and acted upon to keep safety at a maximum level.

III. Extra input about seatbelts and children

It’s not advised to allow children to sit at the front seat for several reasons.

  • If triggered, the passenger airbag can suffocate them when it’s triggered.
  • The Emergency Locking Retractor (ELR) is safe when used by adults, but it can injure children too.
  • Extra equipment on the seat belt like a pretensioner will help because it gives some slack, if sensors detect that it’s too tight. This device can save children from having their ribs crushed.
  • Install all car seats for children using the Isofix mounts on the chairs. They secure the car seat better and keep it anchored in worst case scenarios.

Seatbelts and children can be a very tedious mix and following suggested ways to strap children and infants in should keep them safer.

child wearing seatbelts

It’s not advised to allow children to sit at the front seat

IV. What to do next?

All these inputs about safety and how to maintain a high safety level at all times when driving is important. It can be dismissed to a degree, but these car warning signs should not be treated as such. Warning signs are meant to inform and be acted upon, waiting for things to get worse should not be. It’s just common-sense and practicality that is just as important, cost can be considered but not only if it compromises safety. Deciding when it’s too late is not really that smart at all, too.

Visit Philkotse.com every day for more useful car tips and advice on driving safely when on the move.

Source: Norjan Ismail Abbas