How to stay alive when driving on PLUS highway at night
The driving experience from Ipoh to KL on PLUS highway sending shivers down my bone.
If given a chance, I will avoid travel on PLUS at night. The short 2 and halves hours traveling just remind me various accident on PLUS highway. That is snail for 180km travel.
Let me list down all the danger factor when travel on PLUS highway at night.
Danger No 1 – Flood of Illegal HID headlamp
Today, thanks to weak law enforcement of one of the worst corrupted department : the JPJ – AKA road transport department, our road are flood with car fitter with illegal HID headlamp. When travel along the road with street lamp, an incoming vehicle HID it is annoying.
However, when traveling at night on the dark highway, illegal HID headlamp will post immediate danger to all incoming vehicles.
Above picture show how bad a HID headlamp glare can blind you. Because human eye will open widely when there is little light. a strong light flash from the incoming vehicle from the right will blind you. Because human eye is difficult to cope with the correct adjustment of the iris. Thus, you will unable to see the road/object in front of you due to the strong beam from any direction.
Because of stupid people that fit the illegal HID lamp, it jeopadize the safety of all drivers along the way.
Solution : To counter this temporary blindness cause by the incoming vehicle, slow down and turn on the highbeam. This is not revenge, but a move to compensate your eye when the iris close due to the incoming vehicle high beam. Switch it back to normal beam when regain your vision.
Danger No 2 – The stealthy heavy vehicle
2 Hours on the road, I am surprise that at 3 out of 10 of the heavy vehicles, e.g. Bus, trucks,lorries are stealth, 200 meters away. For example, some lorries rear light are dim, and their reflective sign are hardly reflective covered by dirt. And some lorries doesn’t have a rear reflective sign at all.
Now I understand why the there is many fatal accidents involve the cars ramp into the rear of lorries : because the heavy vehicles are stealth thanks to Malaysia weak JPJ law enforcement. Many heavy vehicles are not fitted to be on the road at night!
Perhaps Petronas oil tanker are the best heavy vehicle I saw that compliance with the road safety rules. I can easily spot the white oil tanker 500 meters away, thanks to the abundance(Almost the rear are covered) reflective sign at the rear and its good rear light.
Solutions : Whether you travel slowly (e.g. 60km/h) or fast (110km/h), ALWAY make keep a safety distance e.g. 200 meters of visibilities. Otherwise, slow down your vehicle until you can see WHAT IS IN FRONT of you. When travel in high speed(e.g. 90km/h) , failure to spot any slow down or stopped lorries 200 meters away from you, it means death sentence to anyone.
Danger No 3 – Abusive use of High beam
During my childhood day, when traveling at night, all driver has the tendency to use the high beam with care. For example, when my father spot light from incoming direction, he will switch high beam back to normal . And the incoming vehicle always follow the same code. Few car will put on the high beam all the way along the road when they saw incoming vehicles.
Today, it seems many people on the highway has little idea about the code of driving at night. Many people insist of using high beam, and refuse to turn down the high beam when they saw incoming vehicle.
solution : When the incoming vehicle blind you with high beam, slow down, switch on your high beam, this will help you regain vision in subseconds. Turn it down when you regain the your vision.
Danger No 4 – Speeding Bus
When I driving 100km/h on a safe stretch of road, a tourist bus tailgate me. When I switch to the slow lane by maintaining 110km/h, the bus zoom pass me with little trouble, probably travel ~130km/h-140km/h. Luckily, I only encounter 1 such death angel during 2 hour driving.
solution : Give way, slow down, let the heavy vehicle pass you and keep at least 200 meters away from ANY heavy vehicles. During an accident, heavy vehicle momentum can turn your car into scrap metals.
Danger No 5 – The idiot who tailgate
Now, this is for small compact car. I don’t understand why Kancil, Myvi driver LOVE to tailgate behind all heavy vehicles. Perhaps this people use to urban driving, they don’t understand the safety distance rules for highway travel. In fact, on any road, if you travel faster than 60km/h, even 10 meters away from ANY heavy vehicle are consider tailgating.
Again, when traveling 80 km/h, most heavy vehicles will break in shorter distance compare to car. For empty heavy vehicle, the breaking distance is only 50% of the car when traveling on the same speed. If you stupid enough to tailgate the heavy vehicle, death are awaiting
Alas, beside the high percentage of compact car rider tailgating heavy vehicles, occasionally, luxury car or MPV driver also spotted tailgating heavy vehicles. Apparently, the stupidity of tailgating are spread across every class of people.
Solution : Tell you friend or love one NOT TO TAILGATE any car. STAY FAR AWAY from any heavy vehicles. It doesn’t matter if they drive a Porche. Any empty heavy vehicle will win the super sports car in breaking contest when traveling in high speed!
Danger No 6 – Heavy rain
Rain can reduce visibilities. Beside rains, the water mist created by vehicle in front of you will create a blanket of fog that block the vision. The mist cause by a speeding bus can reduce visibilities to zero, you can imagine the danger when tailgate behind a speeding bus.
solutions : Turn on you head lamp (not high beam) to let other driver see you. Stay 100 meters away from any car to reduce the mist effect. DO NOT turn on the stop signal light if your vehicle still on the move, you will confuse other driver. If you don’t intent to stop and wish to indicate your slow moving vehicle, use the left signal light.
Danger No 7 – Combining all the above factor
Now you need pretty good luck to stay alive in next 10 minutes.
solutions : Slow down and find a safety spot to park your car and rest. Wait till you think the dangerous factor are clear from the road.
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