While there were fewer road accidents in Singapore last year, a disproportionate number of traffic incidents resulting in injury or death involve motorcyclists year after year. In fact, 63% of fatal accidents recorded in 2020 involved this group. With a grim figure like this, it is in the interest of motorcyclists to understand the significant factors driving this alarming trend.
Speeding and Driving Above the Limit
While many of us are working from home during Phase 2, it will not be too long before we return to our desks at the office. This unfolds a scenario that we all know too well, where the phone alarm rings and you press the snooze button a few times too many before realising you will be late. In your hurry to attend a meeting or an interview on time, you end up driving well above the speed limit. In a situation like this, we place our short-term need of being on time above our safety on the road.
Speeding is the leading cause of road accidents in Singapore and has claimed more than twice as many lives on the roads as drink-driving did last year. Motorcyclists who speed not only put their own well-being in danger but also risk the lives of others on the road as driving above the speed limit can impact your reaction time as well as distance required to bring your motorcycle to a stop. In both cases, speeding makes it increasingly difficult to control the motorcycle in case there is a sharp turn or a pedestrian nearby. Unsurprisingly, the penalties associated with motorcyclists who drive above the speed limit are steep, including the possibility of jail time, a hefty fine, and having your motorcycle confiscated.
Drinking and Driving/Riding
The number of fatal drunk driving accidents has increased by 85.7%, from 7 cases in 2019 to 13 in 2020. But motorcyclists are more than just numbers or percentages. What’s important to note here is the increase in drunk driving related accidents in Singapore. To curb this number, an Anti-Drink Drive virtual campaign with a notable “Drink or Drive, You Decide” tagline was launched to nudge motorcyclists to make smarter decisions on the road. Additionally, there have been a growing number of speed cameras deployed island-wide to detect unsafe driving while under the influence of alcohol. Lastly, there have been efforts to impose heavier fines for those who still choose to drink and drive. This includes a prison term of up to 12 months and more stringent penalties for repeat offenders.
Many motorcyclists are familiar with common facts like drinking too much alcohol can impair judgement, hinder vision, and impact reaction time while on the road. With strict measures in place to deter individuals from drinking and driving, as well as the possibility of being the next fatal accident road statistic, motorcyclists are better off making their way home using other means. Hailing a cab after having a few glasses of whiskey may be the safest option for a motorcycle driver.
Ignoring Jaywalkers, Road Cyclists, and Elderly Pedestrians
Picture yourself driving your motorcycle in the CBD during rush hour or taking a turn into a lane where the lights are dimly lit. It may be difficult to notice a jaywalker or an elderly pedestrian. Some road cyclists may ignore the natural flow of traffic and believe that they have the right of way. Irrespective of whether a motorcyclist is involved in an accident with a pedestrian or a road cyclist, blame usually falls on the one behind the wheel. By following road rules and exercising caution while riding, motorcyclists can play their part in helping to avert possible accidents.
For Peace of Mind, Shop Around for the Right Motorcycle Insurance
Purchasing motorcycle insurance is a must – it's illegal to take to the road without insurance, regardless of the motorcycle that you drive. Also, the risk of being involved in a motorcycle accident signals a greater need for comprehensive motorcycle insurance. But steering around the fine print and insurance jargon can cause some bumps along the road. For this reason, consider purchasing an affordable, comprehensive, and flexible motorcycle insurance plan. For example, DirectAsia’s motorcycle insurance plans start from as little as S$8.50 per month and covers a variety of factors based on your needs.
Budget-conscious motorcyclists can also opt for a third-party only plan, which offers protection against legal expenses following a motorcycle accident, damage to someone else’s property, and injury to someone else in an accident. On the other hand, motorcyclists who drive more frequently can benefit from a comprehensive motorcycle insurance plan that goes a step further by covering damage caused to another motorcycle or damage caused by a flood. Regardless of the motorcycle insurance that you choose, you’ll need to find what works best for your budget, motorcycle, and desired coverage.