Planning to go out for a drive in Malaysia? That’s quite a roll of the dice you’re taking.
A recent research done by Michigan University shows that Malaysia ranked 17 among the top 25 most dangerous countries for road users, with 30 fatalities per 100,000 individuals.
The research, conducted by the university’s Transportation Research Institute used 2008 World Health Organisation (WHO) data from 193 countries, and the February 2014 research puts Malaysia at number 17 for most dangerous drivers.
The only other Southeast Asian nation within the top 25 is Thailand, which came in at number 2 – most dangerous for drivers with 44 fatalities per 100,000 people.
United States of America registered with only 14 fatalities, France with seven, Germany and Singapore with six and United Kingdom with only five fatalities per 100,000 people. The world’s average is 18 fatalities per 100,000 people.
Namibia peaked at number one on the most dangerous list with 45 deaths while the safest place to enjoy a drive is the island nation of Maldives with two deaths. All countries in the 25 most dangerous list are either least developed or developing countries.
Researcher Brandon Schoettle suggested that development may have a role to play in why Malaysia was ranked number 17.
“While I cannot speak specifically about Malaysia, we do know that as development increases for a nation, road fatalities often increase too,” he said while pointing to China and India as examples.
Island nations such as Malta with three deaths per 100,000, Fiji, Marshall Islands and Tonga with four deaths are where one is least likely to die from road accidents, probably due to their low motorisation levels.
It was found that road crash fatalities make up only 2.1% of fatalities from all causes worldwide. The United Arab Emirates has the highest percentage in road crash fatalities with 15.9%.
The study was done to compare the fatality ratio of road accidents to other major causes of death such as cancer and heart diseases.
The study also showed that according to the world average, people are six times more likely to die from a heart disease than from a car crash. Malaysians are 2.5 times more likely to die from cancer and 2.8 times more likely to die from heart diseases, compared to road fatalities.
However, according to a statement on the WHO website, the data for the research carried out may not tally with official Malaysian numbers due to the difference in methodology employed by both WHO and the Malaysian census.
“Many of the data-sets represent the best estimates of WHO using methodologies for specific indicators that aim for comparability across countries and time. Therefore, they are not always the same as official national estimates, although WHO, whenever possible, will provide member states the opportunity review and comment on data and estimates as part of country consultations.”
Because of this, the classification of Malaysia as a dangerous nation for drivers may differ when compared to local official records.