According to Dr. Abdul Kareem, a researcher at USM, an average of 16 people die every day due to car accidents in 1999. Fast forward to 2019, the number of fatalities are 17 people a day which is a drop from the high of 20 lives lost a day in 2016. However, our accident rate has only been steadily increasing. Our Ministry of Transportation 414,421 recorded accidents in 2010 and 567,516 accidents in 2019. So what are the main causes of car accidents in Malaysia?
In a study conducted in 2020, 51.3% of participants admitted to speeding while driving. Speeding, is without a doubt dangerous. It increases the chances of an accident by reducing the amount of time you can react to changes on the road. It also makes car accidents more deadly as your body’s inertia will carry you forward should the car come to a sudden halt. This is also a reminder to wear your seat beats.
This is however, not limited to drivers of personal cars, but also busses and lorries. Accidents resulting in the deaths of passengers have happened before, and will continue to happen should we not clamp down on this behaviour.
Texting and Driving
Texting and driving is something plenty of people do (53.1% per the same study). Yet, it is one of the primary causes of car accidents. When you are texting, your eyes are not entirely on the road. As such, you will not have the full situational awareness you normally have. For example, you may not see the car in front of you brake in time and crash into it. So do not text and drive.
The same study also found that 65.6% of drivers tailgate. Tailgating is the act of driving very closely to the car in front. This is to force the driver being tailgated to change lanes, allowing the tailgater to speed ahead. Another reason is to prevent another car from merging in front of the tailgater. Regardless of reason, tailgating means the two cars are in close proximity. This can easily result in accidents as there is not enough room to stop, should the car in front brake.
Running the Light
Running the read light is another action that can easily result in car accidents. 60% of respondents in the 2020 study said that they run the red light. See a pattern yet? Running a red light is dangerous because there is a high chance of a different lane having a green light. This will result in collisions between the car running the red light and a car following the law.
The 2020 study also found that 69.4% practice improper overtaking, i.e. speeding in front of a vehicle and switching lanes without signaling. This increases the risk of car accidents because the other drivers are not notified of your intentions. Unfortunately in Malaysia, some drivers begin to tailgate the moment they see a car signalling because they want to prevent a car from entering their lane in front of them.
It takes only one miscalculation or a moment’s distraction to cause a car accident. Drive safely. To learn how to drive safely in the rain by reading this article.