Although the question of “health” has been touched up on time and again in other articles, elsewhere in this blog, to mention about it once again is never a waste of time.

“Health” may be an important aspect, especially when someone intends to secure a driving license in Malaysia. But unfortunately, not many are aware or sure what health requirements are actually required by the authorities concerned.

Besides requirements on health, there are also a few important aspects or things which a driver or motorist in Malaysia should possess, should they aspire to get a driving license here in Malaysia.

Briefly, amongst some of the requirements must surely be:-

1) Age factor.

In Japan, it is said, drivers should ideally attain the age of 18 before they can learn how to drive. In Malaysia however, a person should be 16 to be able to get a motorcycle(B2) driving license. 17 happens to be the age to obtain a car driving (D) license. For larger vehicles, such as lorries, trailers and bull dozers, the law here requires one to be 21 years of age.

2) Having good vision or eyesight.

It is important that drivers and motorcyclists be able to see well. One has to see “traffic lights”, traffic cops directing traffic, road signs, pedestrians crossing the road and traffic lights as well. Inability to see well will cause a driver or motorist a lot of problems.

One important aspect the Road Transport Department carries out on potential candidates who aspire to obtain a driving license is a “colour blind test”. This is an 8 question objective test on colours, conducted prior to sitting for the 50 questions computer objective test.

A person failing to pass the “colour blind test” will have to go to the J.P.J state office to be interviewed by a top officer. The officer will then direct one to the nearest government clinic or hospital for further eye tests.

The above colour blind test was reputed to have been introduced by a Japanese doctor, Dr. Isihara, in 1917. Basically, the colour blind test, tests a potential student’s ability to decipher important colours such as red, green and yellow, which is incidentally, the colours of a traffic light.

3) The ability to hear well.

The ability to hear well is obviously very important to a driver or a motorcyclist. The ability to hear will be a warning to horns, police sirens and other important sounds such as vehicles approaching from the rear and tyres which have sustained damage.

Early detection of engine failures, fan belts bursting and other assorted damages normally associated with mechanical failures, will obviously go a long way to assist a driver detect potential problems facing a driver.

Although the Road Transport Department does not specially conduct a hearing test for potential candidates, nevertheless the onus is on a candidate himself or herself to ensure that he or she can “hear” reasonably well. A candidate who is hard of hearing is advised to ideally procure a good set of hearing aid available in the market today.

A good set of hearing aid can sometimes cost quite a huge sum of money. But, it should be reiterated that it is an investment that’s worthwhile investing in.

4) Possess a careful disposure.

Accidents can easily happen if one is not a careful person. As such, it goes a long way to avoid a driver getting into unwanted incidents if one is a careful driver, nevertheless. Amongst the things a driver should be careful of are:
i. Drive carefully especially when one is tired.

ii. Be extra careful especially when driving at “mid night”. Drivers tend to be unable to see well and are slow to react to emergency situations. The chances of accidents happening at such times are very high.

If a driver is extremely sleepy, the best advice that can be given is to stop at the road side at a safe place and rest for a short while. The dangers to the driver himself and to other road users as well, is believe me, is very high indeed.

iii. Ensure that you have enough rest or sleep prior to getting out on a long distance journey.

iv. Avoid consuming medications as this is said to be able to cause drowsiness.

v. Avoid driving too long a duration. Take periodic rests along Rest and recreation spots (R&R) which dot our expressways nowadays. Take a short rest. Take some hot drinks such as Milo, Horlicks or Ovaltine.

vi. Avoid driving late into the night. A driver tends to feel sleepy at such times.

vii. Change driver while driving long distances. A driver is much more alert if such a procedure is adopted.

viii. Listening to the radio, eating some sweets and tid bits are but a few ways to help keep a driver awake, when tired.

ix. Winding down side windows to get a wisp of fresh air outside will go a long way to freshen up a tired and sleepy driver. Do think about it!

5) Not on medication.

Any medication should first of all be approved or prescribed by a medical doctor. Certain pills and cough drop mixtures can cause “drowsiness”. A driver should be aware of the side effects which can be brought about of certain medication.

6) Stable emotional feelings.

Emotional feelings such as composure, worry, and tension amongst other things which can affect a driver’s ability to drive well. See to it that the above feelings do not affect your ability to drive well.

There are a few other things which a driver should be aware of:
i. If you’re sick and unable to drive, do not attempt to drive further.

ii. Avoid driving after you have consumed alcohol and taken medication.

iii. Avoid taking a lift from someone who has just taken a drink.

Although it is not compulsory for a potential student who wishes to be a driver to undergo a medical examination by a panel of doctors, nevertheless it is always better for one to undergo a medical check up if he or she possibly can. Whatever it is, a driver who intends to take up a license to drive public service vehicles like taxies and buses should first of all ensure that he is medically fits.

7) Correct attitude and safety.

A good driver should possess the correct attitude and be a driver who is considerate. The ability to drive well will only be incalculated through years of driving experience. A driver should possess certain qualities which will go towards making a person a competent and good driver.

A driver has to be responsible for the welfare of his fellow passengers as well as other users too. Children, disabled persons, old folks, cyclists and even animals are all a driver’s ambit of responsibility.

A driver should infact give a 100% concentration whilst driving, any slight mistake can cause accidents. Therefore, if one should be unwell, or agitated, worried or even mentally disturbed, avoid driving if you can.

Doing something else instead driving, like using a hand phone or listening to the radio and looking at maps for directions can all contribute towards uncalled for accidents.

Do not drive if a person has used “drugs”. If one has used medications without prior approval from a medical authority, avoid driving if you possibly can.

8) Plan your journey.

Planning one’s journey ensures that no unforeseen incidents can happen. Besides this, a good driver should ideally be capable to foresee or judge what other drivers intend to do, so as to avoid accidents from happening.

Ability to be able to be patient is a plus for a good driver. The ability to be patient enable a driver to overlook mistakes made by other road users, a patient driver is capable to forgive mistakes and bad behaviour committed by other drivers.

This article has gone a long way in providing many aspects of health which can contribute towards a person becoming a good driver. On top of that, it has also paid emphasis on certain qualities which a driver should possess should he or she would like to be a good and competent driver.