Nearly half of the Singapore drivers polled in a survey by insurer AXA Insurance feel that the roads have become less safe than they were three years ago.
The key reasons given for the perception, according to the survey released on Monday (26 November), were the presence of more aggressive drivers (72 per cent of survey respondents), more non-drivers on the road such as personal mobility device (PMD) users and cyclists (70 per cent), and a growing number of private-hire vehicles (57 per cent).
This finding comes despite 81 per cent of respondents believing that Singapore’s roads are either “quite safe” or “very safe”. Police figures also showed that there has been a 20 per cent fall in fatal accidents and a 4 per cent drop in accidents that resulted in injuries between 2015 and 2017.
The survey, titled AXA Mobility Survey 2018, polled 812 Singaporean road users aged 18-59 in April, ranging from private car owners, taxi drivers, motorcyclists, to commercial drivers, private-hire car drivers, cyclists (including bike-sharers), PMD riders and pedestrians.
Leo Costes, AXA Insurance’s managing director (retail) and chief customer officer, said, “Since our last survey conducted in 2015, Singapore’s mobility landscape has evolved, and this is why we have expanded our latest study to uncover the behaviours of new road user groups and to understand how we can make roads safer for everyone.
“The findings from the AXA Mobility Survey 2018 draw attention to specific areas where we, together with the community, can curb risky road behaviours in Singapore. By sharing our insights and data with the larger society, we hope to not only encourage safer road habits but also to help people to understand the real risks on the road.”
PMDs, bicycles seen as contributing to more accidents
The survey found that, while about half of the respondents (55 per cent) view the increasing number of PMD devices and bicycles positively, nearly three in four of them believe that they make sidewalks more dangerous (78 per cent) and more congested (77 per cent), as well as contribute to more accidents (72 per cent).
In contrast, they generally welcome the introduction of ride-sharing services (80 per cent), even though about one in two of them feel that they contribute to more accidents (48 per cent) and make the roads less safe (45 per cent).
Elderly road users need more protection
The respondents also believe that the elderly road users need more attention and protection. They believe that an increase in reckless driving (54 per cent) and jaywalking (44 per cent) are contributing to accidents involving elderly pedestrians. According to the police’s Mid-Year Traffic Situation Report this year, 40 per cent of all accidents involving elderly pedestrians in the first half of 2018 were due to jaywalking.
To make the roads safer for the elderly, respondents support the development of elderly-friendly infrastructure, such as senior-friendly road safety features (58 per cent) and road crossings designed with the elderly in mind (50 per cent). They also support better engagement and education for the elderly on road safety (46 per cent).
Risky road behaviour common
When it comes to their personal road-using habits, over 60 per cent of the survey respondents said they had engaged in at least one risky road behaviour in the first quarter of 2018.
They include going through an amber light (29 per cent), driving at more than 10kmh above the speed limit (25 per cent) and not coming to a complete stop at zebra crossings (25 per cent).
To make roads a safer place for everyone, AXA has launched Give Data Back, an interactive website that identifies accident hot spots in Singapore and aims to help people better understand their risks on the road. The website is based on three years of AXA claims data and official road traffic accident statistics.
AXA is also donating of 300 smart and portable walking aid holders, known as Qanemates, to its corporate responsibility partners, Singapore Cancer Society and SportCares.
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