No one wants to find themselves in a traffic accident. It could mean sustaining minor injuries, vehicle damage, or in severe cases, permanent disability, and even the loss of a life. Every year, approximately 1.3 million people die globally from road traffic injuries. To avoid being a part of this statistic, it pays to take necessary caution. Steer clear of ambiguous situations that can hamper your judgement, such as driving under the influence.
In Singapore in the first half of 2021, more traffic accidents resulted in fatalities and injuries as compared to the same time the previous year. We have compiled several tips that would help keep you, your family and those around you safe whenever you get behind the wheel.
How do you reduce your chances of a traffic accident today?
1. Ensure you have sufficient practice
If you’re a new driver and have just received your driving license, ensure you familiarise yourself with the roads in your neighbourhood. While the thrill of increasing your speed might be tempting, first ascertain that you have the skills to be able to handle the car when it moves at a high speed.
2. Always wear a seat belt
It’s absolutely essential that you make it a habit to wear your seat belt every time you’re driving and to ensure that your passengers do so as well. Seat belts can save lives by keeping both drivers and passengers firmly in their seats in the event of a collision or rollover. The driver and passengers are less likely to be ejected and flung through the windshield or side windows or have tissues and organs impacted by the different parts of a vehicle.
Under the Road Traffic Rules of 2022, if the driver does not adhere to the safety rules of wearing a seat belt, he will be fined $120 and be given 3 demerit points. So it’s best to belt up whenever you’re driving and ensure that your passengers do so too.
3. Watch out for the speed limit
It can be tempting to want to put your foot down hard on the accelerator if you’re running late for an appointment or just for the thrill of it when there are few cars on the road. However doing so could endanger the lives of not just you and your passengers, but those around you on the road. When you speed, your ability to control the vehicle is significantly reduced, you have less time to stop a crash and the severity of a crash tends to be higher.
Exceeding the speed limit can result in fines and demerit points. If the speed limit is exceeded by 1 to 20km/h, 4 demerit points will be awarded and if it is exceeded by 21 to 30km/h, 6 demerit points.
4. Don’t drive under the influence
Drink driving is dangerous as alcohol can greatly impact one’s ability to concentrate, make good judgements and properly coordinate their motor skills. From minor vehicle damage or slight physical injury to very serious harm, including loss of limb, sight, or hearing or life, or paralysis – it can have consequences for you and those around you.
From January to September 2021, there were 101 drink-driving accidents that resulted in injuries – more than during the same period the year before. Singapore law takes drink driving seriously. A first-time offender is liable to a fine of between $2,000 and $10,000 and/or up to one year imprisonment. It is always better to err on the side of caution, choosing to leave your car at home if you plan on drinking or calling for a valet if you have driven.
Learn more about Expat Insurance’s Hospital & Surgical Insurance
Practicing safe driving is essential to keeping you and those around you safe. Following the road safety rules, taking the necessary precautions and avoiding situations that could compromise your safety is advisable.
However, sometimes road emergencies can occur and to prepare yourself in the event that it does, it’s best to ensure you have the right insurance. Expat Insurance offers premium hospital and surgical insurance that ensures you receive high-quality healthcare treatment or surgeries in Singapore without needing to be burdened by hefty bills. Learn what to expect when you’re hospitalised in Singapore. Also, speak to our team of friendly insurance advisors to find out whether your current healthcare plan offers sufficient coverage.