Women have since ages been termed as the gentler sex.

To many, the conception of women will always remain as such. So, when a road safety campaign at the University Sains Malaysia, Pulau Pinang, recently announced, “Women drivers are getting more aggressive than their male counterparts”, I was not at all impressed by the claim.

According to an analyst, considering the number of traffic summonses issued and court cases against women drivers today, a trend of aggressive driving has emerged among the fairer sex.

The above claim was made by the Malaysian Crime Foundation. Well, the foundation is entitled to its own opinion. It went on further to claim that men drivers, as a whole, have improved, whereas women are getting more aggressive.

Whether you agree or otherwise with the above statement, you are the best person to decide. This blog on its part, would like to put forward a few factors to support that accidents, in fact is caused by some pertinent factors.

Before we jump to any conclusion, I have been involved with the driving school and institutes for over 40 years now. I would like to inform you that accidents happen to us due to various factors. This article will therefore emphasise upon these factors above.

1) Condition of the driver.

Is a driver calm? Is he or she in good health, alert, sleepy, stressed etc? All these are important factors relevant to be taken into account.

2) Condition of the vehicle.

The brakes, tyres, signal lights, horn and other important items should nonetheless be taken into account. As such, new cars are obviously safer and will be less liable to be involved in an accident.

With this in mind, it’s not that second hand cars cannot be used. What is important for a driver to remember is, always maintain your vehicle in good conditions.

3) The problem of reflections to a driver.

An important factor contributing towards the cause of accidents is without a doubt this problem. At night, drivers face the headlights of on coming vehicles.

With the acute problem of xenon lights facing us today, it is a major contributing factor towards accidents.

The there is the question of reflections posed by strong sunlight, which can affect a driver’s vision. You, as a driver can minimize the above problems by donning sun glasses and tinting your vehicles up to a level permissible by the Road Transport Authorities.

Many articles have been written earlier on this vital subject. You are advised to read them.

The problem of reflections can further be eliminated by not looking into headlights of on coming vehicles and making use of shoulder lines and centre lines found on our roads.

4) The condition of our roads.

Another contributing factor to accidents is the condition of our roads. In certain cases, road wind along endlessly for miles. A good example is the road to Cameron Highlands, especially the old road.

The road to Genting Highlands Resort is another. Especially during the rain, these roads can sometimes be extremely treacherous.

Drive slowly and carefully. Reduce your speed. Use the lower gears ideally, for your own safety. Even the best of drivers can face problems, what more a new and inexperienced one!

Roads can sometimes be in poor conditions. Hole and ditches are sometimes not be repaired by the authorities. These can then be a danger to motorists. And believe me when I say accidents can take place because of these conditions.

5) Pedestrians.

Pedestrians on the road can too pose as a danger to motorists. Motorist have to drive slowly and carefully especially when there are pedestrians who wish to cross roads.

There are certain areas like markets, factories, school premises and playing fields where accidents are likely to happen. A motorist therefore should be careful when driving through such areas.

6) The weather condition.

Weather conditions have often been quoted as one reason for accidents happening. Besides rain, other weather conditions such a haze, dust and misty conditions can also be a cause for accidents to happen. Drivers are advised to drive with care.

The Malaysian Institute of Road Safety Research (MIROS) will be working with several insurance companies to reward good drivers. However, this plan has to receive the approval of Bank Negara first.

Nevertheless, this proposal is a good idea, and should therefore be applauded.

Finally, it should be reminded that accidents sometimes happen due to our own attitudes. Always remember that driving on our roads nowadays is dangerous. You are therefore advised to drive carefully, be courteous and most of all be a defensive driver, wherever you possibly can.

As the Director-General of the MIROS, Professor Dr. Ahmad Farhan Mohd Sadullah said, “Do not think you are invincible, and most importantly, wear your seat belts. This small piece of cloth may one day save your life!”