We are part of a society which relies heavily on personal transportation solutions such as cars or motorbikes. Unlike countries like Japan or Singapore, our public transportation system still has a long way to go before it becomes a feasible solution to majority of Malaysians.

Till that happens, which might happen in say 20 years (now that is a BIG might), we have to rely on buying cars or motorbikes, which would eventually be upgraded to cars. Simply walk into local colleges or universities and you will notice increasing number of cars driven by students which could be as young as 19 years old.

Without cars or motorbikes, you can safely say that our economy will slowly come to a grinding halt. With a heavy dependability on such transportation solutions, we have a lot cars on the road and this number is rising. With this, accident rates rise naturally as well. At the same time, our drivers don’t learn anything about defending themselves on the road at the driving academies which is another problem all together if you ask me. We only learn basic vehicle maneuverability and road safety, nothing about defensive driving.

Drivers have to first of all understand different driving phenomenons and learn how to negotiate them, while keeping in mind the safety of others. At the same time they will have to also understand the safety features on their respective cars. With such knowledge, drivers have better driving skills and this will translate to a reduction in road accidents.

Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye also recently mentioned in his article on The Star that defensive driving skills is a must, following numerous accidents in public, commercial and private motoring sectors. Although defensive driving is not offered at driving academies, drivers can do their part by taking part in such events that are organized by the private sector, whether it is by auto companies or by defensive driving schools.

Such an event can cost between RM500 to RM2000 and they offer life-saving hands on knowledge which once learned, can be shared with your loved ones. A typical one-day event will highlight driving phenomenons such as understeer and oversteer as well as how to negotiate their cars during the wet and other vital information. Drivers will also learn the effective way to sit in a car and operate the steering wheel and pedals. They will also learn how to carry out emergency braking and how to avoid obstacles on the road.

Although auto companies which offer such training such as the BMW Driver Training, the Mercedes Driving Experience or the Ford Driving Skills for Life treat these events as part of their branding or CRM efforts by promoting safety features or the drivability of their products, the knowledge obtained is still valuable.

Some companies such as Castrol and Shell also carry out such efforts. The former has the Experience Nurburgring yearly campaign which involves defensive driving as part of the campaign and the latter has just launched the Shell Helix D Academy which will give out 30 tickets to a defensive driving event.

Whether it is via the events above or via various driving schools, defensive driving saves lives and should be made compulsory. What do you think? Please feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section :)