As one of the most famous tourist attractions in Malaysia, Genting Highlands is also known for its challenging road to drive on. That’s exactly why adrenaline junkies and reckless drivers love to put the pedal to the metal on these hills. But don’t let this intimidate you if you’re planning to drive up there for the first time. Here are some steps you can take that can get you up and down the mountain safely.
Unserviced Cars Contributing to Genting Highlands Accidents
Before embarking on a trip to Genting Highlands, it is essential to have your vehicle checked. Driving up and down Genting Highlands roads can stress the engine, brakes, and tire treads. We recommend performing a basic inspection on your car a few days before the trip. Key areas to check are the brakes, tires, and engine oil. You can perform a simple maintenance check on your car by inspecting the brake pads and tire treads.
It’s important to note that driving a well-maintained vehicle allows better throttle and braking response. No matter the make or model, regular maintenance should be performed to ensure your car stays in excellent condition during long drives. Also, ensure that your car’s lights are functioning correctly as it can be difficult to see at night on windy roads.
Drive Slow & Don’t Skimp on The Brakes
Overconfidence is an insidious killer. Often, a considerable cause of Genting Highlands accidents occurs when drivers are stingy with their brakes. This is very important, especially going downhill. If you can recall the bus accident in Genting Highlands back in 2013, the bus was discovered to be driving fast at 50kmph above the speed limit.
Driving up a steep road can give off Need for Speed video game vibes. But remember, these roads are windy and challenging to the uninitiated. There are many sharp turns and steep inclines that require you to slow down. Here’s how to drive up Genting Highlands the proper way:
Drive and Brake Slowly
Before you take your car up the road, try and play around with the brakes to make sure they still have enough bite to grip your wheels to a full stop. Do a quick inspection on your brake’s padding to ensure they are still in good condition.
When driving through Genting Highlands’ roads, it’s best to drive at a slow and steady pace. If you have seen race cars on the track before, you’ll notice their brakes glow red from heat friction under extensive braking at high speeds. Ordinary car brakes are not designed to handle that. Excessive high-speed braking on stock brakes will cause the padding to wear out faster and seriously damage your braking system.
Keep Your Car’s Transmission in Low Gear
At the foot of Genting Highlands, you’ll come across a large sign warning drivers to stick to low gears. Whether you’re driving with an automatic or a manual transmission, lower gears have higher revolutions per minute (RPM) which gives your car the performance it needs to climb uphill. Conversely, sticking to lower gears while going downhill can also help slow down your car without needing to ride the brakes. Do not put your gears in neutral as this disconnects the engine from sending rotational power to the wheels. This increases your chance of spinning out of control.
When going up and down the hill. Maintain a slow, consistent pace that you are comfortable with. Don’t forget to use your signals and honking to alert other drivers too. As a driver, it’s also important to stay on high alert as there are many blind spots on each hairpin. If you do have to overtake someone, take note you should never overtake at a corner. You might not be able to see what’s in front of you like crossing animals or cyclists.
Be Prepared For Sudden Weather Changes
Weather up in the mountains is highly unpredictable and prone to sudden changes. This is due to the mountains having strong winds. That’s why it gets damp and colder the higher you climb. In case your windshield and windows get fogged up from the temperature change, crank up the heat from your car’s climate control or disengage the AC’s inner circulation button.
Get Ample Amounts of Sleep Before the Journey
If you’re one of those who cannot sleep due to excitement before a holiday trip, one may think drinking enough coffee can brute force yourself to stay awake. However, you might want to consider this – the Royal Malaysian Police reports throughout 2020 to 2021, there have been 1,305 fatal cases of car accidents attributed to microsleep.
For those who don’t know what microsleep is, it is a sudden, temporary moment where you fall asleep uncontrollably. With the amount of steep and winding roads up there in Genting Highlands, microsleep can make any driver wake up in another realm above. Get someone else to drive for you if you really can’t stay awake any longer.
Please Stop Racing Up There.
A huge portion of Genting Highland accidents occur due to Takumi Fujiwara (from Initial D, for the unfamiliar) wannabes sending tofu up the mountain. How many crashes, fatalities, and innocent bystanders have to get involved before enough is enough? Every now and then, there is always another dashcam footage of street racers losing control or being overconfident with their skills up there.
Street racing is extremely illegal in Malaysia, and so is weaving through traffic dangerously, which is often seen in Genting Highlands accident footages. According to Section 42(1) of the Road Transport Act 1987, drivers can be imprisoned for up to ten years or fined up to RM20,000. Additionally, Section 42(3) states that anyone convicted shall be banned from possessing a driving license for up to two years. Think twice if you’re planning to take your Civic to visit Ulu Yam International Circuit.
If there is a need to satisfy that racing itch, take all your activities to a legal and sanctioned track or a virtual simulator instead.
All in all, as a petrolhead myself, there is nothing wrong with cruising up Genting Highlands so long as safety and traffic laws are observed. A six-speed manual rower or an automatic can still be fun to cruise around so long as safe driving habits are observed. Remember, there is nothing worth winning at the end of the race.