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Worst Car Accidents in Singapore
Singapore is a fast-moving city with close to a million cars on the road. Given that situation, accidents are bound to happen. The road safety team at Budget Direct Insurance unearths examples and asks what we can learn from these car accidents.
Following this, you will find road safety advice to guide you when driving in Singapore.
Quick facts – fatal road accidents
- A BMW crashed into a shophouse in Tanjong Pagar and burst into flames. All five men in the car were killed. One of the men had clocked speeds of up to 182kmh while he was driving in the area before the crash. The car was travelling at an estimated speed of between 87kmh and 99kmh at the point of impact. The speed limit for the stretch along Tanjong Pagar Road is 50kmh. First-time offenders can be fined up to a $1,000 and/or jailed for up to three months for exceeding the speed limit by more than 40km/h. These maximum penalties are doubled for repeat offenders.
- In another notable accident, a lorry driver heading towards Marymount Road ploughed into and killed three pedestrians. The driver was hurt in the accident. He pleaded guilty to driving without a Class 3 licence and insurance. He was fined $1,400 and banned from driving for a year. This incident illustrates the importance of having the right certification to operate a vehicle as it ensures competency and ascertains the safety of road users.
- In another horrific accident, a man driving a multi-purpose vehicle ploughed into a group of five people who were changing a punctured tyre. Only one person in the group survived. The man was found to have been drinking and had taken a drug which causes drowsiness. If convicted of drink driving in Singapore, you are liable to a fine of between $2,000 and $10,000 and/or up to two years’ jail.
Quick facts – accidents involving discretionary right turns
- A 22-year-old female NUS student died after being flung out of the window of her cab. The accident happened during a collision between a car and a cab at the junction of Clementi Road and Commonwealth Avenue West.
- In another accident, a Grab driver died while making a discretionary right turn when a lorry collided with his car.
- A female pedestrian died after being hit by an Aston Martin that failed to notice her during a discretionary right turn.
Quick facts – accidents involving pileups
Although there have been no recent fatalities involving pileups, we have included some examples of such incidents here as these can have catastrophic consequences.
- A 14-vehicle pileup was reported along Barley Road, heading towards Barley Viaduct. No injuries were sustained.
- A 14-year-old girl and a 40-year-old woman were taken to hospital following a collision involving nine vehicles on the Kallang-Paya Lebar expressway. The accident involved eight cars and a van and occurred in the direction of Tampines Expressway after the Bartley Road exit.
- Another accident happened when two people were taken to hospital after a pile-up involving six cars and a taxi on the Pan-Island expressway towards Changi.
What can we learn from such road traffic accidents?
At junctions where discretionary right turns are allowed, motorists can make the turn with the green light on when they deem it safe to do so. These junctions account for a high rate of accidents. The best way is to treat them as accident-prone areas and to practise the following:
- Drivers need to be mentally alert when approaching such junctions so that they can make a judgement on whether to turn right or not.
- They need to keep a lookout for fast-moving vehicles coming from the opposite direction.
- If the road is wide, they will need to keep a watch for vehicles on many lanes.
- The driver also needs to watch for pedestrians and cyclists who may be crossing the road on the right.
Driving in fast-moving city traffic involves regular, split-second decisions.
Drivers should be aware of the following:
- Giving adequate warning before changing lanes and turning. Other vehicles on the road will need time to adjust to the movement of your car. Use indicators and remember to turn them off after you have completed the manoeuvre.
- Making sure you leave enough reaction time between yourself and the car in front of you. For approximately every 30kmh of speed, the following distance should be two car lengths. If the car in front has to brake suddenly, then you’re less likely to end up in a pileup.
- If you need to avoid an obstacle on the road, focus on where you want to go, not what you are trying to avoid. It's difficult to steer away from something when you are looking directly at it. Don’t concentrate on the source of the problem, rather focus on the safest space to steer your car.
In addition, drivers should:
- Drive cautiously when exiting car parks. Carparks can be darker than Singapore’s streets, especially at night. Give your eyes time to adjust to the light, the road and any hazards.
- Drive more slowly during and after the rain when the roads may be slick. Wet roads affect your car’s manoeuvring and stopping time. In wet conditions, there is also a danger of aquaplaning.
- When driving for longer periods of time, make sure to take regular breaks. Do not drive when tired.
- Never drive under the influence of alcohol.
- Avoid texting, holding a mobile device or applying make-up while driving.
Safe driving, regular car checks and maintenance are sure-fire ways to ensure that you and your car have a great future together.