Statistics from Malaysia’s police recorded 402,626 road accidents from January to September 2022, resulting in 4,379 deaths.
The number is 58% higher than the previous year’s 255,532 road accidents and 3,324 fatalities.
Free Malaysia Today notes that the recent deaths from road accidents surpass those from the Covid-19 pandemic.
What is causing the spike in the number of road accidents and deaths in Malaysia?
According to the article, the recent deadly road accidents in Malaysia’s Expressways and primary roads have exposed inherent hazards in its road designs.
A common cause of road accidents that turn deadly is associated with lorries, an English term for trucks used by Malaysians to refer to all types of big trucks and trailers.
Some recent examples of road accidents include two vehicles crashing into the back of lorries that stopped along the emergency lane of an expressway.
The first one leads to the death of a family of three. The second was a bus hitting the back of the truck causing 16 people to get injured, with some turning serious.
Another road accident involved a father and son who were hit by a lorry, killing both while tending to a flat tire on the emergency lane of an expressway.
A long-standing problem is linked to narrow roads and wide trucks
Roads and expressways in Malaysia are too narrow to handle these huge lorries giving almost zero clearance for other vehicles.
The article says that Malaysia’s road transport department (JPJ) should not allow large lorries and some with oversized items protruding from their rears to pass on these highways as they are proving deadly to motorists.
Lorries can measure as wide as 9.8 feet. A one-lane road barely reaches 10.6 feet in width, and a two-lane expressway a mere 23.3 feet. Two trucks driving next to each other on a two-lane expressway leave just 1.3 feet.
Given their length, strong draft, and drift, each poses a severe hazard to the other. Imagine driving on rainy days.
The article says the emergency lane width requirement set by the transport ministry is only 7.3 feet, with no requirements for lay-bys on any expressways. A 9.8 feet wide truck passing to or parking in one of those is a serious hazard that has led to deadly results in Malaysia, proven by numerous road accidents and fatalities.
Traffic volume has significantly increased since the pandemic a couple of years ago, making the maintenance and operation of existing expressways challenging.
The article notes that the country’s new Prime Minister, Anwar Ibrahim, needs to acknowledge these unsafe road conditions and take corrective actions, the article notes.
Khan, R. (2022 December 1). New transport minister must tackle high number of accidents, deaths. Free Malaysia. Retrieved from https://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/category/opinion/2022/12/01/new-transport-minister-must-tackle-high-number-of-accidents-deaths/
Lim, A. (2022 October 27). 402,626 road accidents recorded in Malaysia from Jan-Sept 2022, with 4,378 fatalities – PDRM statistics. Paultan.org. Retrieved from https://paultan.org/2022/10/27/402626-road-accidents-recorded-in-malaysia-from-jan-sept-2022-with-4378-fatalities-pdrm-statistics/