WOULD the right training and some insurance buy-in help bring down road fatalities?
That rather horrifying video of the Mercedes-Benz going against traffic on the Ayer Rajah Expressway and leaving a trail of death and destruction in its wake is a graphic reminder of what could go wrong very quickly on the roads.
The complaints about Singapore drivers being rude, aggressive and inconsiderate are not new. But the events of Monday morning when the Mercedes-Benz ran at speed against oncoming traffic is a reminder that you need to stay vigilant behind the wheel.
Be Prepared… For Anything
You never know what the car in front of you might do, or if a cyclist or pedestrian might get in your way. Then there are those motorcycles that are in the habit of weaving in and out of traffic, or lane splitting, where a long chain of them stick to the white lines between lanes and ride at speed, often resulting in cars finding it difficult to change lanes. You think it’s the pesky Malaysian motorcyclists, until you see an LTA motorbike joining the procession.
It’s a dreadful reminder of what could surprise you on the roads. It’s worse if you are not prepared for it.
One area where road users could improve their motoring habits is to take part in a defensive driving course.
Driving Home Road Safety
Tom Kristensen (www.tomkristensen.com), who has an impressive racing record, knows all about speed and endurance. And a key reason for his longevity and success comes from being alert to road conditions and not taking things for granted.
Kristensen won the legendary 24-hour Le Mans races a record nine times, which also earned him the moniker, Mr Le Mans. He’s also a six-time winner of the 12 Hours of Sebring race. The Dane has been inducted into Motorsport’s Hall of Fame and is the ambassador for Audi.
Kristensen is a strong proponent for driver training, and reckons it should be made legal for everyone, as he explains in this video.
There are a number of driver trianing courses organised here, mainly by the German brands — Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz. These courses are conducted in a controlled environment and allow the driver to better appreciate what the car is capable of and how it functions under various conditions. It is also a good eye-opener for the driver, reacting to different situations.
Driver Training And Insurance
From 2008 to 2014, the number of road fatalities and injuries on Singapore roads has been declining. From 221 fatalities and 10,760 injuries in 2008 to 155 and 9,858. Fatalities in 2015 dropped to 152.
While this may seem a positive trend, it still doesn’t take away from the fact that these are people who died on our roads. It could have been their fault or someone else’s but in the end, someone lost a loved one, colleague or friend.
If insurance companies could offer a discount for those who have taken a defensive driving course, that might encourage more people to be more mindful of what they — and others — are doing on the road.