Statistics compiled by the Royal Malaysian Police
revealed that the highest rate of deaths and accidents are
among those aged 16 and 25 followed closely by those
between 26 and 35. Together, they made up for 58.5% of
deaths on the roads. The statistics covered the period of
three years from 2004 to 2006.
The majority of road accidents involved young adult
motorcyclists. Motorcycles are considered to be the most
dangerous form of transport. It is often described as an
unprotected mode of transport. Young motorcyclists are
therefore the most vulnerable on the roads.
Furthermore, it is also regarded as a relatively quicker
and cheaper way of getting around. It takes an average of
30 to 35 minutes to get from one point to another in the
Klang Valley. In terms of cost, motorcyclists spend less than
RM18.00 a week. Besides, there is no need to pay toll, an
added bonus and savings.
Besides the factor of the motorcycle itself, there is the
young blood factor to be considered. They speed. They
beat red lights. They overtake and perform indiscriminate
lane change. They perform stunts on the roads. They get
thrills from being macho and dare devils.
It is a common tendency for the young throughout the
world to underestimate their road craft. They think their
reflex actions are quicker and their driving skills are better
Some younger people think they are invincible. They
think nothing will happen to them. It can happen to others
but not to them. Compared to the older people, the young
are reckless, impulsive, fearless and immature.
Another interesting aspect to note is that although
there is a tendency for young road users between 16
to 35 to show high-risk behavior, they also make up a
high number of road users. Naturally there is a higher
representation of them in the overall statistics.
Another factor that is often ignored is the machine
itself. The vehicles may not be road worthy, being poorly
maintained or of inferior quality. A further consideration
is road and weather conditions, quite beyond the control
of mere mortals.
The introduction of a new driving curriculum by the
Road Transport Department to include defensive driving
skills may help reduce accidents and bring about a breed
of mature young drivers by year end (2007).
Wikipedia defines defensive driving as a form of training
for motor vehicle drivers that goes beyond the mastery of
the rules of the road and the basic mechanics of driving.
It aims to reduce the risk of accidents by anticipating
dangerous situations despite adverse conditions or the
mistakes of others. Learners learn a variety of general
rules as well as the practice of specific driving techniques.
Defensive driving skills are available for both motorists and
motorcyclists. It is hoped that defensive driving courses can
help wipe out the fallacy that you are king of the road, you
rule the road once you are behind the wheel.
Overall, Malaysian road users do lack basic road
courtesy. Changing the attitude and the mindset may go
a long way towards reducing fatal road accidents.