HomeCar TipsStay Out of a Pile-up Accident with These Tips

Stay Out of a Pile-up Accident with These Tips

With the number of cars we have on the road, it’s common to see car accidents in Malaysia on the daily. While most accidents we see are fender benders involving two vehicles, multi-car pile-up crashes certainly do occur, especially on highways.

Rear-end collisions are the most common type of high-speed car accident in Malaysia, especially during festivals and school holidays. Though as more of us are now going on road trips every weekend, we may see more accidents on the road. That’s why it’s even more important to know how to avoid getting into a pile-up car accident.

Car pile up accident

What Is a Pile-up Car Accident?

A pile-up accident is one the most dangerous types of car accidents and occurs when the initial collision doesn’t give the vehicles coming from behind enough time to react, causing vehicles to then pile up on top of each other. On a highway with fast-moving traffic, this can lead to extensive damage to the vehicles and severe injuries.

How Does a Pile-up Accident Happen?

A pile-up accident is most likely to occur on a curve or after the peak of an uphill slope. These two spots on the road naturally act as obstacles that block your view of the road in front. Only after you round the corner or go past the peak can you see the road in front and sometimes, that’s too late.  

Dangerous Corner on The Road Illustration

Oftentimes, drivers would approach the curve or peak of an incline only to suddenly meet with standstill traffic or a slower vehicle. Since their view is obstructed, they often don’t react in time and crash into the vehicle in front. This starts a chain reaction causing multiple vehicles to pile up.

Pile up crash prone hill illustration

Though less common, pile-ups can even happen on a straight, unobstructed road for any number of reasons. Though some of the most common causes are due to tailgating or when your brakes and tires don’t have as much traction when it rains.

Read More: Involved In a Car Accident? Here’s What You Need To Do!

How to Avoid Getting into a Pile-up Crash on the Road

Being in a vehicle pile-up can be fatal. However, you can protect yourself by driving defensively and being more aware of your surroundings. Here are some tips you can use to avoid rear-end car collisions that ultimately lead to pile-ups:

  • Pay attention not only to the car right in front of you, but also to the road beyond it and to the cars behind you. This trains situational awareness so you can quickly assess your surroundings and react in time.
  • When approaching a blind corner or peak of an incline, slow down and keep more distance from the car in front of you. This is also so you can quickly escape if you realize you’ll be in a dangerous position.
  • If you think you’re queueing at a risky part of the road that might be prone to an accident, you can also turn on your hazard lights, like what drivers in Germany do. As a local driving custom in Germany, the last car in a traffic queue activates its hazard lights to warn other drivers until another car joins the queue, and so on.
  • Upon seeing slow or stand-still traffic after a corner or peak, gradually slow down to a halt instead of suddenly braking. If you’ve slowed your car down sufficiently as mentioned in the previous point, you’ll have more time to come to a halt, making it easy for the car behind you to act accordingly.
  • Pay attention to the car behind you. If it’s following you closer than you’d like, you should keep even more distance from the traffic in front of you and slow down gradually so the tailgater can follow suit.

Here’s an example of how not keeping enough distance on the highway can cause a pile-up accident:


Test Your Situational & Driving Awareness

You can test your driving awareness with a simple practice. While driving, guess the speed you’re doing without looking at your speedometer. If you can do this, you have a good understanding of your car which will help you react better in unexpected situations. 

Modern cars, with their improved NVH (noise, vibration, and harshness) insulation makes us less sensitive to the higher speeds we’re driving at. That said, with enough effort to be aware of it, you can learn how to control your car better including knowing how to stop effectively while driving.

What About Your Car’s Safety Features?

Advanced safety features such as adaptive cruise control (ACC) and autonomous emergency braking (AEB) do help prevent car accidents in Malaysia. However, as these systems use a visual or radar-based system to detect obstacles in front of your car, they still have limitations in what they can do. For starters, this system can’t see what’s past a corner or beyond a hill making it your responsibility to slow down when approaching these hazardous spots.

Perodua Myvi ACC

Here are the conditions in which your AEB may not be able to operate:

  1. When driving on a sharp curve or slope.
  2. When accelerating, braking, or steering while pre-collision braking is engaged.
  3. When the distance between your car and the obstacle is too close.
  4. When driving against intense light such as strong sunlight or high beams from oncoming vehicles.
  5. When visibility is poor due to bad weather such as heavy rain and fog.
  6. When an insufficient amount of the obstacle’s surface area overlaps with the stereo camera’s/radar’s field of view, such as if it’s not directly in front of your car.
  7. When driving in dark or dim conditions such as at night or in a tunnel.
  8. When driving on a bumpy, uneven, or slippery surface.
  9. When the obstacle is too small, low, or irregularly shaped, such as a platform trailer or traffic cone.
  10. When the obstacle suddenly appears in front of your car, like when another vehicle suddenly cuts in front of you.
  11. When the stereo camera/radar is obstructed by dirt.

Read More: Top Car Safety Features Invented by Women That May Have Saved Your Life

Have Peace of Mind with CARSOME

Safe driving practices is key to avoiding a rear-end collision on the road but a car that’s in good condition can still help you stop and react more quickly when you need to. At CARSOME, we put all our cars through a 175-point check and professionally refurbish them beyond global safety standards which cover things like the brake pad thickness and tire tread depth on our cars.

Beyond the condition of the car, we also offer a promise of a fixed price with no hidden fees, a five-day money-back guarantee, and a one-year warranty for extra peace of mind in your car purchasing and ownership experience.

Visit CARSOME to find the right car today or download our app from the Google Play Store or Apple App Store.

This article was originally published on wapcar.my and has been adapted by CARSOME.

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