New Year’s resolutions on the road

0

HAPPY NEW YEAR, EVERYONE! THE MOTORING INDUSTRY JUST CAME FROM A VERY EXCITING AND COMPETITIVE TOUR DE FORCE IN 2014, AND IT WILL BE HARD TO TOP THAT THIS YEAR.

Filipinos remain generally positive and have been very resilient regardless. One thing we always do is to make New Year’s resolutions. So, to help jump start my plans for 2015, here are my top resolutions that I hope I could keep going for the major part of the year.

1. BE A SAFER AND MORE ECONOMICAL DRIVER

This has always been my number one resolution for the longest time and I’m happy to say that I have achieved much success at it. I have won eco runs and enjoyed good fuel mileage. It’s not easy with the Metro traffic and people always rushing. Coming home with no accidents has always been my goal since I learned the techniques of being a defensive driver. With all the motorcycles and crazy drivers running on the roads, this is one skill that should be mastered by all. It is not enough that we know how to drive but we should also learn how to control our car and avoid accidents in the process.

2. PUSH FOR THE USE OF ALTERNATIVE AND RENEWABLE ENERGIES

This is one of my advocacies and I have been working on it for the longest time. Here we have LPG-powered cars (including my LPG dedicated Mitsubishi Spacewagon), Hydrogen On Demand systems (my Nissan Patrol and Honda Civic had them on), and some ionized intake systems. Aside from saving us money with increased fuel mileage, these projects also clean up the engine’s emissions.

3. LESSEN MY ROAD RAGE

Keeping up with my top resolution above, the nut behind the wheel is really the one who will have a major effect on the way a car behaves. If the driver is not in the proper frame of mind, he will never be a safe and economical one. For now, it is only man that will dictate how a car is driven even with all the gadgets in the vehicle. Not only will the driver be accountable for his actions in his car but also how others behave around him. Like when a bike crosses your path and you step on the brake all of a sudden. You then drive recklessly due to emotional stress. You may also do it to others and start a chain reaction. Soon there will be drivers, police officers, and pedestrians all wanting to kill each other just because one started it all. So join me and stop the domino effect. Keep your cool. It is not worth the trouble and the harassments after.

4. MAINTAIN MY CAR AND BIKE BETTER

Another source of getting more fuel mileage and driving safely is keeping a car or bike well-maintained. A low inflated tire, dragging brakes, and a poorly maintained engine all eat up fuel, give bad exhaust emissions, and cause accidents on the road. Michelin has explained that safety starts with filling the tires to its recommended pressure. Something as simple as that is most often taken for granted, but without the right air pressure in the tires, the tires won’t work the way they are designed. We should also take a look at filling up with better fuel rather than the cheapest one we can find. It has been proven that higher-quality fuels give more power, needing less throttle to maintain speed, and therefore saving on fuel.

5. UPGRADE TO A NEW CAR

With the advent of affordable and efficient hybrid cars, I think it is time to consider getting a new one instead of maintaining an old vehicle. There are lots of good cars out there and my pet has always been hybrid cars or multi-purpose pickups. A diesel-fueled small car is also worth the fuel efficiency. It is time to declog and sell the non-performing assets to create more space and funds for the new car. I know the wife will be happier with this resolution than I will. However, happy wife means happy life!

6. HELP REVIVE MOTORPSORTS IN THE COUNTRY

Motorsports will always need help from all the people who are in it. It will never be a mass-based sport but it can always bring in the dollars and be a good venue to showcase the talents of the Filipinos’ driving and mechanical skills.

Words Mike Potenciano First published in Speed January 2015 issue