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So Your Car Got into an Accident with a Motorcycle: What to Do & Who’s at Fault?

In Malaysia, accidents between cars and motorcycles are quite a common occurrence. Motorcyclists and drivers have even blamed each other for reckless driving and for being the main cause of the accidents. 

Many Malaysians; motorcyclists and car drivers alike, have the impression that since motorcyclists are more at risk and suffer more in an accident, the fault should fall on the car driver, at least in the eyes of the law. But is that the case? Let’s look at who is really to blame in an accident between motorcycles and cars, and how car drivers can safely share the road with our motorcycle-riding friends.

Table of Contents

Are Car Drivers Automatically at Fault in an Accident with Motorcycles?

The short answer is no. Drivers are not automatically to blame in an accident with a motorcycle. Just like in any road accident in Malaysia, the police (or the court, if it comes to that) will take the statements of all parties involved and evaluate the available evidence before determining who is responsible for the accident.

In Section 10 of the Malaysian Highway Code, there are some basic rules for the road pertaining to courtesy:

The courteous motorist will show consideration to all other road users whether drivers, cyclists or pedestrians. He controls his temper and obeys traffic regulations. You must not allow rudeness or stupidity of other road users to affect your own good manners, judgement and conduct while driving.

This code applies to all motorists and is enforceable by law and referred to in court, under the Road Transport Act 1987, Section 68. So if you’re afraid of being unjustly blamed for being involved in an accident with a motorcycle, you can be assured that the law considers all motorists equal.

Motorcycle and helmet on the road with car in the background

What to Do in a Car-Motorcycle Accident in Malaysia

Whether a motorcycle hits your car, or your car hits a motorcycle, the procedure for dealing with the accident is similar. Here are the steps you should know before deciding who is at fault in an accident:

  1. Stay calm and assess the situation. Check if you and your passengers are injured. If you’re not injured, assess the damage to your vehicle and to the other party’s vehicle. Make sure you move your vehicle to a safer location such as the side of the road.
  2. If the other party is a motorcyclist, check to see that they are out of harm’s way as well.
  3. Exchange information with the other party including the vehicle number plate, road tax, model, year, and color of the vehicle, driver’s full name, phone number, IC/MyKad, and driver’s license details.
  4. Document the incident by taking pictures of the damage to your vehicles and the surrounding scene.
  5. If the accident is just a minor fender bender, you can come to an agreement on whether to settle the matter yourselves. However, if the damage is severe, you should make a police report. 
  6. Make a police report at the police station which has jurisdiction of the accident area within 24 hours of the accident. The officer at the station will take your statement and issue a summon to the party responsible for the accident, which has to be paid within a month.
  7. Contact your insurance provider as soon as possible. They will advise you on the next steps and can help you arrange for your car to be towed to the nearest authorized panel workshop.
  8. Prepare and submit the relevant documents to the panel workshop to speed up the insurance claims and repair of your car:
    • Copy of police report
    • Your motor insurance policy
    • Copy of the driver’s and policyholder’s IC/MyKad
    • Copy of the driver’s and policyholder’s driver’s license

Read More: Stay Out of a Pile-up Accident with These Tips

What to Do If You Are Blamed for the Accident?

Occasionally, the police officer handling your case could decide that you’re at fault even if the motorcyclist is the one who hit you. If you’re confident that you’re not at fault in an accident with a motorcycle, or with any other vehicle, for that matter, you can take the case to court. 

You first have to inform your insurance provider that you want to file a suit in court, as many policies cover legal fees up to RM2,000 with written consent from the insurer. This is available on comprehensive and third-party insurance policies depending on your insurance package.

Do note that the court’s decision depends on the facts, evidence, and witnesses available so there is a possibility that it will favor the other party. That’s why it’s always a good idea to install a dashcam on your car, as you can have evidence proving that you’re not at fault. 

Sometimes though, it might be better to let it go, especially if the damage incurred is small. Going to court might cost you more, not to mention that it’ll take a good chunk of your day just to attend the proceedings.

Man and woman talking outside of the car at the roadside

How to Safely Share the Road with Motorcycles

Motorcycles deserve to be on the road just as much as other vehicles. However, since they’re more difficult to see than larger vehicles, it’s crucial that you be aware of them and drive safely to prevent getting into an accident with one. Here are some safety tips you can follow to share the road with and prevent accidents with motorcycles.

1. Always Check Your Blind Spots

Motorcycles are harder to spot than other vehicles, so don’t assume there are no vehicles or bikes around when merging into a lane or making a turn. Pay extra attention to your blind spots and make sure there are no bikes around before making your move. Many modern cars have blind spot detection systems to alert you of anything in your blind spot. It’s also a good idea to minimize the blind spots on your vehicle.

Read More: Don’t Get Blindsided by Your Car’s Blind Spots: Here’s How to Minimize Them

2. Beware When Changing Lanes or Crossing Junctions

Before you switch lanes or cross junctions, take a second to look for approaching vehicles, especially motorcycles. Always use your turn signals and check your blind spots before you move. When you turn and cut in front of a motorcycle without giving enough time for it to slow down, it could ram straight into your car, causing severe damage to the motorcycle and injury to the rider.

3. Use Your Turn Signals

Always use your turn signals to let other road users know where you’re going. Being on two wheels, a motorcyclist can very easily lose control if they have to abruptly stop or evade another vehicle. Therefore, be sure to activate your signals a few seconds before you turn or change lanes so other vehicles, especially motorcycles have enough time to react and stay out of your way. 

4. Keep a Safe Distance from Motorcycles

Whether you’re tailing a motorcycle or overtaking one, always keep a safe distance from it in case either of you needs to make a sudden maneuver to evade a hazardous obstacle. It’s recommended that you keep a distance of at least three seconds from a motorcycle. 

You can do that by picking a fixed object or landmark by the road. Then, wait for the motorcycle to pass it and start counting to three seconds. If you pass the same object before you count to three, that means you’re driving too close. In this case, lower your speed to increase your gap with the motorcycle.

Read More: Buying a Car? Here Are 17 Safety Features You Need

5. Pay Full Attention on the Road

It goes without saying that you should never drive distracted. Not paying attention on the road is extremely irresponsible and could endanger yourself and other road users. Driving while distracted, sleepy, or fatigued can reduce your alertness and reaction time on the road. 

Never use your phone while driving, always get enough rest before driving, and never drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Also, don’t play music too loud in your car so that you can hear when motorcycles approach or honk at you.

Protect Your Car with CARSOME Insurance

By being more alert and courteous on the road, all motorists can share the space without any problems. However, when mishaps happen, it often pays to have a good motor insurance policy for your car.

If you’re looking for insurance coverage to protect your car, check out CARSOME. Just submit your car details on our website and you can get a quick quote for multiple motor insurance policies from the top insurance providers. You can compare and customize the policies before selecting one so you can be sure that your policy gives you the best value for your needs.

Renew your motor insurance on CARSOME now or download our app.


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