Exploring Road Safety Deficiencies in Malaysia

Abstract: The escalating number of road traffic crashes in Malaysia poses a critical concern. The underreporting of these crashes has been identified as a significant problem that obstructs the effectiveness and efficiency of road safety work. Accordingly, a data-linkage study comparing hospital and police databases in a representative region of Malaysia was carried out. It showed a severe underreporting of road traffic crashes by the police, with a reporting rate of 4.7%. Although fatality records were found to be reliable for use as a basis for road safety actions, the reliability and accuracy of severe and slight injury data were questionable. Thus, the need for complementary data is highly imperative. Hence, a state-of-the-art mapping of a collection of self-reported crash data was made in the form of a systematic review of relevant literature. The findings of this review were used as a basis for designing a case study in Malaysia. The study involved the distribution of online-based anonymous questionnaires to respondents using a mixed recruitment approach. Overall, the survey revealed several important findings: (1) men were more likely to be involved in traffic crashes; (2) women demonstrated a higher propensity to not report their involvement in traffic crashes to an official database; (3) most single-vehicle crashes and slight injury crashes were not reported; and (4) motorcyclists were more involved in injury crashes that were severely underreported. To explore motorcyclists’ safety-related behaviour, an observational study at a T-junction in an urban area was conducted to assess the association between motorcyclists’ behaviour and the probability of conflict occurrence using the generalised linear model with a binomial response and link logit. The Swedish Traffic Conflicts Technique (TCT) and T-Analyst software were employed to identify, classify and analyse the conflictive interactions. The obtained results revealed that the development of traffic conflicts was statistically significantly attributed to eight behavioural variables, with the entering angle of motorcyclists as the most significant variable. The significant findings of this thesis about the level of underreporting, factors behind not reporting traffic crashes and significant behavioural variables as contributory factors to crash occurrence are expected to give insight into underlying factors of traffic crashes and to assist in the development of road safety countermeasures and effective road safety strategies to significantly reduce the number of road traffic crashes in Malaysia.

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