accident prone

on my home this morning from manila pen (yeah, we had a nightcap after our regular badminton game), i passed by the tandang sora flyover and i encountered a build-up, which is rare at 4am -- a time when commonwealth avenue feels a lot like an oversized runway. the temporary traffic was apparently caused by snoopy drivers stopping to look at the accident on the QC circle-bound lane: a honda accord had turned turtle, its wheels waving at the almost full moon, and a trail of broken glass was in its wake, and some bystanders and busybodies trying to turn it over. the cab driver surmised that the driver may have either fallen asleep or was texting before it hit the flyover’s concrete post and flipping over.

as reported by the MMDA, 3 of the 5 most accident-prone areas in metro manila are in commonwealth, many of which involved fatalities (these accidents being pedestrian related, and not necessarily vehicular mishaps). which is both strange and not surprising. strange because commonwealth avenue is possibly the only major artery that has almost no intersections (quezon avenue being the only other one i can think of), and has the highest overpass per kilometer ratio in the world, with 16 (sixteen) foot bridges starting in litex until philcoa. the one in tandang sora is still under construction, but i’ve included it in the count nevertheless. some of these footbridges are built really close to each other. the ever gotesco and don antonio bridges are possibly less than 150 meters apart. the AIT and philcoa overpasses are likely to be the ones farthest from each other, almost 2 kilometers, i would guess.

but not surprising, because in spite of the generosity of foot bridges, people still insist on risking life and limb running as many as 10 lanes to get to the center island. at its widest, commonwealth can fit more than 10 cars side by side. and road widening efforts are still well on their way. and that’s another thing i don’t understand. widening roads between filinvest and AIT won’t cure the traffic issue when the bottleneck in philcoa isn’t sufficiently addressed. i think the local government should focus on building more roads, or on improving the ones already there.

so pedestrian deaths are to be blamed largely on lazy pedestrians, who refuse to climb stairs and who would rather deface and destroy the metal fences on the center island. i used to laugh at the pretty obvious and conspicuous pink sign saying “walang tawiran nakamamatay” in metro manila, thinking it unnecessary and gloomy. but i think some of those hard-headed (pasaway) pedestrians did the same when their useless lives flashed before their eyes at the precise moment of impact. too bad the law always presumes negligence on the part of the vehicle driver in all reckless imprudence cases. stupidity should be made a defense, especially when you get hit right under a foot bridge.
my dad told me a couple of years ago that if you get run over while illegally crossing a highway, the driver isn't considered negligent... i didn't realize he was pulling my leg, lol.
that's exactly the conundrum, if you could call it that. in any accident involving a vehicle and a pedestrian, there is a presumption of law that the person driving the vehicle was reckless or negligent, and will be criminally and civilly liable for the injury or death of the victim. one must go through great lengths that to prove that there was no negligence involved. unlike in an incident involving 2 vehicles, either person may proceed by proving that the other was reckless. in this instance, the pedestrian already has the presumption in his favor. nevertheless, there is also a concept of contributory negligence on the part of the pedestrian (say, for this instance, he crossed directly under an overpass), which doesn't necessarily exculpate the driver. it merely reduces the penalty of the driver. i guess the only way a driver of a vehicle can escape liability is if he or she can show that the victim actually committed suicide. fat chance though.

yuck. abogado. haha.
haha. it's okay, i appreciate the explanation. reminded me of my lolo. he was a lawyer, not that you sound old. har!

hey it's like in that csi episode where the guy was run over trying to commit suicide.