4 out of 10 Malaysians on the Phone While Driving

Using phone while driving - Credit Concklin Insurance
  • An Associate Professor told Bernama that 4 out of 10 Malaysians use the phone while driving.

  • A 5 to 10 second distraction equals 160 metres on the road.

  • As motorcyclists we must always mitigate our risks and look out for signs of impending danger.


1 out of 4 Malaysians are using their smartphones while driving – as if many other things distracting them inside a car isn’t enough.

University Tun Hussein Onn Malaysia Highway Engineering expert, Associate Professor Mohd. Ezree Abdullah told this when contacted by Bernama.

A driver distracted for 5 to 10 seconds at normal highway speeds is equivalent to turning the car into a runaway vehicle for 160 metres. How far is 160 metres? It’s the distance from the pedestrian crossing outside Suria KLCC and Avenue K to the Jalan Ampang-Jalan P. Ramlee intersection.

Voice calls isn’t the only distraction. There are so many apps to distract drivers such as Waze/GPS, Whatsapp/WeChat, SMS, Facebook and games. Yes, we’ve spotted drivers playing games on their smartphones while driving!

Drivers are think that they are paying attention as long as their eyes are on the road. But how many times have drivers “zoned out” even when they are just driving along?

Remember that a car driver may be distracted by other occupants, his favourite song on the radio, blindspots, an itch in the crotch… etc. etc. etc.

This article is not about blaming car drivers (there are motorcyclists talking on the phone while riding, too!). Instead, we wish to highlight that we should always trust our judgment when we ride and not leave our fates to other road users. We should always mitigate the risks around us by paying attention to “signs” of impending danger, such as the driver ahead is about to stop or switch lanes suddenly.

As such, adhere to traffic laws at all times, including not charging away from the red light!

Red light accident. Notice the red traffic light in front of the motorcycle – Credit Sinji Ng and Malay Mail Online