How to deal with minor accidents when you ‘balik kampung’ this week

It is distressing to note that there’s always a high number of such mishaps during the Eid period. — Picture by Farhan Najib
It is distressing to note that there’s always a high number of such mishaps during the Eid period. — Picture by Farhan Najib

KUALA LUMPUR, June 11 — You may want to celebrate Hari Raya with a bang but not quite literally.

That’s right, accidents happen and there’s nothing worse than when they occur once you’ve shifted your gears to balik kampung mode.

It is distressing to note that there’s always a high number of such mishaps during the Eid period.

According to statistics released by Bukit Aman last year, the number of accidents reached to more than 17,000 over the first 11 days when Ops Selamat was carried out during the festive season in 2017.

Of this, 172 were fatal. 

While we don’t want to dampen your festive mood, it is nonetheless good to be prepared.

Prior to setting off, be sure to equip your car with these essentials — a torch light, First Aid kit, fire extinguisher, road flares, jumper cables, rain ponchos, tarp and extra batteries and rags.

Should a minor accident happen, here are some things to remember:

Quickly gauge the damage. If it is not major but with some passengers sustaining minor injuries, call the emergency providers to indicate your exact location. They are police and ambulance (999), fire brigade (994), St John’s Ambulance (03-92851576), Red Crescent Society (03-42578726), Accidents/Natural Disasters (991).

You would also need the numbers of relevant authorities for the main highways. Here are some useful numbers you should keep:

●     Projek Lebuhraya Utara Selataan (PLUS)

Tel: 1800 88 0000

●      East Coast Expressway (ECE) or Lebuhraya Pantai Timur (LPT)

Tel: 09 5479 111

●      North-South Expressway Central Link (ELITE)

Tel: 1800 88 0000

●       Karak Highway

Tel: 09 5479 111

●       Lebuhraya Kajang Seremban (LEKAS)

Tel: 1 800 888 021

●      Seremban-Port Dickson Highway (SPDH)

Tel: 1800 88 0000

●      Malaysia-Singapore Second Crossing Highway (LINKEDUA)

Tel: 1800 88 0000

●       Jambatan Sultan Abdul Halim Muadzam Shah - Penang Second Bridge - Jambatan Kedua

Tel: 1 300 30 2828

●       Penang Bridge 1

Tel: 1800 88 0000

What to do should a collision happen

If you get into a crash with another vehicle, stay calm and move your vehicle to the side of the road. While waiting for help, it is best for the other passengers to stay safely behind crash barriers to avoid anything untoward happening.

Meanwhile, get the other driver’s car plate number, his or her name, IC number and contact number and his/her driver’s license number.

Take as many photos of the damages caused to the vehicles involved. Include shots of the surroundings and skid marks if there are any. This will give the authorities a better picture of who is responsible for the accident. These facts and evidence are crucial if you need to make an insurance claim; even recording witnesses’ accounts will come in handy if you are not at fault.

You would notice that tow trucks will be there minutes after the incident. Be cautioned that they will charge ridiculous fees for towing. It is best to call your insurance agent or the insurance hotline so they can send help.

Be sure to make a police report within 24 hours of the accident to avoid getting fined. The Jalan Bandar (Petaling Street) station is the main station for KL and PJ but since you’d obviously be nowhere near there, you can file the report at any police station as long as it falls under the same jurisdiction as the location of the accident.

The officer will assist in writing the report; you would need to provide an accurate description of the accident. And seriously, it won’t do to NOT have your MyKad and driver’s license on you at this point!

Your car would have been towed to the station. You wait your turn till an investigating officer gets assigned to you. Another officer will take pictures of your car. Always state the truth even if the fault was yours as the officers are trained in these matters.

If there are no complications, the officer is able to decide who is at fault right away. If you’re the guilty one, you would have to pay a summon of RM300. Otherwise, it is issued to the other party.

Keep a certified copy of the report (you will have to pay a few ringgit for it) as it is essential when making an insurance claim. If the case can’t be resolved immediately, the report will be made available within 1-2 weeks.

All said, Selamat Hari Raya and drive safe!