This serves as a reminder to everyone to buckle up and also be responsible drivers!
Road accidents happen every now and then. Unfortunately, many of them are fatal accidents and in Malaysia, we have the third highest death toll from road accidents in Asia and Asean, as reported by The Star. Meanwhile, Thailand has the highest fatality rate, followed by Vietnam. FYI, nearly 50 people died on the first day of Songkran itself.
In Asia, the death rates are actually similar to those reported in some African countries whereas the fatality rates in developed countries are only single digits.
In 2016, transport accidents were found to be the 4th most common cause of death in Malaysia at 5.4% while the top three causes were discovered to be ischaemic heart disease (13.2%), pneumonia (12.5%) and cerebrovascular disease (6.9%). Moreover, the Department of Statistics also stated that this is the 3rd most common cause of death among men. These death rates have remained unchanged since 2007.
Meanwhile, it was reported that in 2016, there were 7,152 deaths in Malaysia and the majority of the victims happened to be males (87%); only 13% were females. As for whether they were wearing their seat belts, only 74% of them buckled up in the front seat and only a shocking 10% did in the backseat. These stats were reported by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the World Bank in the “Global Status Report on Road Safety” that was published back in December 2018.
As for motorcyclists, 91% of them would wear helmets but only 87% of passengers would. Despite this, more than half of the fatal accidents that happen on the road involve motorcyclists, of which only 75% wore helmets. Out of these, 89% of them were riders, 22.5% were aged between 16 and 20, and 90% involved privately-owned motorcycles.
FYI, WHO also estimates there are about 15 serious injuries and 70 minor injuries for every fatal road accident that happens and unfortunately, this means many Malaysian families are affected each year.
Yikes, these stats are alarming!
As a reminder to stay safe on the road, WHO has highlighted a list of road safety facts that we should take note of. Here are some of them:
- Speed kills. For every 1% increase in mean speed, it increases the risk of a fatal accident by 4%.
- A pedestrian is 4 times more likely to die if they were hit by a car at 65km/h as opposed to 50km/h.
- Wearing a helmet of good quality properly reduces the risk of death by 42% and severe injury by 70%.
- Wearing a seat belt reduces the risk of death by 45%-50% for front seat passengers and 25%-75% for backseat passengers.
- Using your mobile phone (even hands-free!) increases the risk of accidents by 4 times.
- Texting increases the risk of accidents by a whopping 23 times! Why? Because drivers using the phone have a 50% slower reaction.
- For kids below 4 years old, child restraints reduces the risk of death by 60%.
- For children aged 8 to 12, booster seats help reduce the risk of injury by 19%, compared to just wearing seat belts.
- Risk of death is also increased if the driver is under the influence of alcohol (over 0.04 g/dl in blood alcohol concentration) or psychoactive drugs (5 times more with amphetamine).
So, remember to pay heed to these reminders by WHO. In the same report, WHO director-general and World Bank president stated, “Road safety is no accident. It requires strong political will and concerted, sustained efforts across a range of sectors.”
Let’s all remember to buckle up and stay safe on the road to prevent our country’s death toll from rising!
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