Malaysia is (embarrassingly) no stranger to road accidents. Official records indicate that there are just under half a million road accidents every year. While not all accidents result in deaths, the increasing number of road traffic accidents only increases the likelihood of resulting fatalities.
In 2016, Malaysia averaged at an estimated 25 deaths per 100,000 people from road accidents alone. According to World Atlas, our country is ranked as having the 18th highest number of road traffic deaths in the world and the second highest in South East Asia (second only to Thailand that’s at 38.1). Not a proud achievement I’d say.
See how Malaysia is red in colour over there?
So what are the causes for such a staggering number?
While it is hard to predict when an accident could happen, there are several factors that seem to be the common contribution to accidents in Malaysia.
- Ease of getting a car and license
Obtaining a car in Malaysia is exceptionally simple when compared to countries like Singapore as we have less hoops to jump through. This ease also applies to Malaysians getting their driver’s license. We don’t realize how good we’ve got it until we hear from the Singapore Police Force that the passing rate on practical driving tests for Singaporeans hovers about 50%. That’s 1 in every 2 test takers!
While it’s wonderfully convenient for us, the ease of obtaining of driver’s license runs the risk of being potentially dangerous as under-qualified drivers are set loose upon our roads.
And these drivers are contributing to the next problem.
- There are too many cars on the road
Cars, cars, and more cars! They seem to be the only thing in our line of sight every time we go home from class or work. According to Nielsen’s Global Survey of Automotive Demand, Malaysia has the third highest number of car ownership in South East Asia, clocking in at a cool 93% (as compared to 53% of Filipino households).
Furthermore, with the dissatisfied attitude toward public transportation and non-extensive train lines, most Malaysians would prefer to rely on having their own car! Thus, this means that more and more Malaysians are buying cars as a convenient way of getting around. And if you remember our previous point, there are quite a few under-qualified drivers among them.
More cars on the road mean that traffic flow becomes heavier, and therefore traffic jams are more likely to occur.
Which brings us to our next point…
- The tragedy of traffic
While most of us are already used to the Malaysian timing, there’s still a time limit to what common courtesy allows. Thus, the anxiety of being late still haunts us. In these cases, punctuality is not the only thing that suffers. Being stuck in traffic for lengthy periods can lead to frustration, road aggression or even drowsiness while sitting behind the wheel. It’s really no surprise that these state of mind make accidents more likely to occur.
In addition, drivers also become more aggressive.
- Driving culture on the road
During traffic congestion, it’s often the norm to see all sorts of bad driving behaviours. Just some of the practices you might find familiar include: selfishly hogging the lane, incessant weaving, dangerously forcing their way, switching lanes last minute to ‘cut queue’, etc. Instead of a constant flow of traffic, these selfish driving behaviours end up stalling other drivers and inadvertently cause the congestion to worsen! Sometimes, these inconsiderate behaviours can cause accidents directly or even indirectly through the road rage that they instigate.
Besides these reasons, there are several other factors which contribute to these high numbers. Here’s an infographic to sum it all up!
In conclusion, the cause of accidents can be pretty circumstantial. After all, ‘accidents’ happen precisely because we can never predict when a tragedy will strike. So safeguard against damages with Allianz for car insurance plans that are comprehensive. Like this one here!
Plus, they just rolled out an awesome new initiative, Allianz Road Rangers (which you can read more about it here) that will take care of their policy holders from start to end should an accident ever happen. Best service to the max!