Here’s some flabbergasting news: According to the WHO, every year, nearly 1.35 million people die in car accidents worldwide, and up to another 50 million are injured or irreparably disabled. Collect your chin off the floor, we’re not done: Road accidents rank in the top ten leading causes of death internationally, and account for 2.2% of deaths internationally.
Surely it’s different in Singapore? Safe Singapore, strict Singapore. Is the Lion City unique from the rest of the world when it comes to car accidents? Make up your mind for yourself: Here are 7 shocking facts about car accidents in Singapore.
1. Singapore’s road fatality rate is higher than London’s, Hong Kong’s and Tokyo’s
Singapore has always been well-known for being one of the safest states on the planet, so it may come as a surprise that at a rate of 2.73 fatalities per 100,000 citizens, we have the second highest road fatality rate compared to these similarly sized cities (after Seoul).
On the other hand, Singapore’s rate of accidents per 100,000 cars is far lower. These numbers tell us that while Singapore experiences fewer road accidents, the accidents that do occur on our roads are more severe (cue: nasty side eye directed at the PIE).
2. Elderly pedestrians accounted for two-thirds (62.5%) of all pedestrian fatalities in Singapore
Globally, more than 50% of all road accident deaths are among vulnerable road users. This demographic includes young children, who might not yet understand motor rules and dangers, and whose small bodies make them inconspicuous on the road.
Surprisingly, nearly half of all reported accidents involving elderly pedestrians occured due to jaywalking, causing us to reconsider the term “don’t treat this like your grandfather’s road”. This means that around 30% of our car accidents happen due to jaywalking. Egads!
3. From January to September 2016 alone, there were 3,410 accidents involving motorcyclists
Interestingly, out of the 865 severely injured motorcyclists that Khoo Teck Phuat Hospital reported treating between 2011 to 2015, a staggering 42% were Malaysians. Not as surprisingly, more than half were Singaporeans.
Motorists are susceptible to collisions with the road surface, barriers, or other vehicles, and their injuries are usually more fatal as they are not protected by the shells of their vehicles. Common injuries amongst motorcyclists include bleeding in the skull, bone fractures and rib fractures. Yeah, we agree, it doesn’t sound pretty.
4. Private car hires and taxi drivers are more likely to be involved in road accidents
In 2017, Grab, Gojek and other private car hires only made up around 5% of the total vehicle population in Singapore, but almost 10% of the 82,800 accidents that happened that year was attributed to these drivers. Taxi drivers on the other hand, made up merely 2.4% of the vehicle population, but a whopping 13% of accidents that year were attributed to them.
One reason for the increased statistics is the long hours behind the wheel that such drivers spend. Note to self: Fatigue is one of the leading reasons for car accidents.
5. Men across all ages have to pay higher insurance premiums than women
Statistically, young drivers are at higher risk of getting into accidents, and this is partly due to their lack of experience and increased inclinations towards reckless driving. But that’s not all – It turns out that men are also seen as the riskier group when it comes to driving.
Insurance companies in Singapore have revealed that men are 1.4 times more likely to get into an accident than women. It seems like the age-old stereotype of women being bad drivers is just a shoddy cover-up after all. We hear you cheering, feminists.
6. Roadkill in Singapore… actually exists.
While roadkill is not a common occurrence in Singapore, the development of Singapore’s eco-tourism hub has caused the death of various animals. Amongst other species, a leopard, Sambar Deer, Wild Boar and an endangered Sunda Pangolin are some of our unfortunate roadkill victims in Singapore.
Often, these animals are forced to look for new habitats and resources due to the forest clearing, and an unlucky few have ended up losing their lives on our roadways.
Beware – there have been many cases where the actual repair and/or medical costs from an accident turned out to be significantly higher than what was initially calculated and agreed on. When this happens, the parties involved may go back on their agreement and submit insurance claim(s). This would most definitely hurt your NCD, lead to a hike in your premium, and even cost you an extra loading amount!
7. Alcohol consumption is the main cause of road accidents in Singapore.
Alcohol consumption, along with traffic light violations, are the two top reasons for car accidents in Singapore. Despite an increase in anti drink-driving enforcement initiatives in 2018, drink-driving car accidents in Singapore increased by 17.3% from 2017, with the number increasing by 51.3% for motorcyclists.
Apart from alcohol consumption and traffic light violations, distracted driving also ranks among the top reasons car accidents occur in Singapore. In a 2013 survey by Samsung, 83% of drivers polled admitted to using their mobile phones without a hands-free kit.
Apart from these 7 shocking facts about car accidents in Singapore, we’d like to remind our readers that quite unshockingly, getting behind the wheel after consuming alcohol is a serious offence and can negatively affect your capacity to make good decisions. Next time you get all buzzed and drinky, do the right thing – Take a cab instead.