Friday, July 06, 2012

Normalised Dysfunction of Malaysian Drivers

I've written about how Malaysian drivers are rude on the road. Most drivers are just rushing and pushing through traffic in their own selfish manner to get to their destination. I think it is something many of us could relate to. I have also written about things to do if involved in an accident (and particularly a Taxi in Malaysia) as most of the drivers do not own the car, but rented from others. It can get complicated when it comes to insurance claims and so on. Read about it here.
So, why am i writing this today?
To start with, i am not a perfect driver, but i strive to be. I try not to only drive to the destination, but i work very hard to stay alive getting there, and ensure passengers too, are alive. Not forgetting the other road users. No one WANTS to be involved in an accident. For me, an accident can be avoided and mostly caused by bad driving habit such as failure to adhere to the norm or acceptable law pertaining to driving, recklessness, egoistical and rudeness.
Take for example, how many of us here (reading) drive beyond 25km/h in a housing area? A far as i know, many around my housing area, or other housing area drives at speed up to 40km/h. That is accident waiting to happen. Our reaction time are dependent on our senses and how fast our brain can process the information. Usually, it is two seconds too late before our legs decided to step on the brake - and by then, we would had hit something.
Normalised Dysfunction - Riding without helmet.
Another example would be the usage of mobile devices. Nowadays, people tweet, facebook, whatapps (message) on the go, literally. Often this could be avoided but with the fingers growing around the devices, we will die with them too if the accident is fatal. Here is how you take Video safely. Using a phone holder. You can crop photos from the videos like how i did above. Warning though, the video below is almost 19minutes. It record my journey from Damansara Utama to Saujana at Subang. Many bad drivers could be seen (and recorded).
We are often so used to do things wrongly that it became what i termed as "normalised dysfunction". When that happen, we will take and perform the wrong as something "right". Good example is the video i took on June 27, 2012 morning on my way to work. I stopped at the junction as it is red light. This junction usually has Polis manning it, but this week has not seen any. I knew someone WILL beat the light and i took my phone out and get ready for it. The red car did not disappoint. Thanks for proving my theory. Towards the end, another vehicle, this time, a truck, beat the red light. I stopped recording then onwards, but the traffic on my left pushed to merged further up the road, further disrupting the traffic flow. This happens every morning. One day, some vehicle will get into accidents.
But that won't stop the frequent road user from doing this "normalised dysfunction" again.
If you are driving and managed to stay alive and stay safe (for yourself and others), give yourself a pat on the back. Here are some good to know tips for a healthier (mental, physical and wallet) driving.
Stay Safe
• Use a seat belt at all times – driver and passenger(s). 
• Be well-rested before driving.
• Avoid taking medications that make you drowsy.
• Set a realistic goal for the number of miles that you can drive safely each day.
• If you are impaired by alcohol or any drug, do not drive.
Stay Focused
• Driving requires your full attention. Avoid distractions, such as adjusting the radio or other controls, eating or drinking, and talking on the phone.
• Continually search the roadway to be alert to situations requiring quick action.
• Stop about every two hours for a break. Get out of the vehicle to stretch, take a walk, and get refreshed.
Avoid Aggressive Driving
• Keep your cool in traffic!
• Be patient and courteous to other drivers.
• Do not take other drivers’ actions personally.
• Reduce your stress by planning your route ahead of time (bring the maps and directions if you do not have a GPS), allowing plenty of travel time, and avoiding crowded roads and busy driving times.

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