I hope this post will help alert all road users to be careful of these immoral, unethical and irresponsible drivers and always stay safely away from taxis or other vehicles. Also, if possible, install cameras in your cars.
On 1 June 2012, around 8.45pm, I met with an accident on Nicoll Highway involving an SMRT taxi, and a Nissan Latio, though only my car was damaged. I was driving smoothly behind this taxi at a constant speed, not tailgating nor attempting to overtake, when the taxi suddenly e-braked in the middle of the highway. Although I saw the brake light on, I did not expect it to be an e-brake and thus slowed down my car only slightly. About a second later after realising the taxi came to a complete halt, it was probably too late for me to jam my e-brake. I reckon that if I e-braked, I may crash my head as I swing forward since I was travelling fast on a highway. Also, it could be dangerous as cars behind may crash straight into my car. I have never attempted e-brake on a highway at highspeed and thus did not know how long the stopping distance would be.Thus, I checked my right mirror and blindspot and swerved to the right upon clearance to avoid crashing into the taxi. I managed to avoid a crash into other vehicles but unfortunately, the speed was pretty fast and I was unable to steer the car back straight in time and therefore hit the kerb, mounted it and my car began staggering. After coming to consciousness in a second, I put the brakes and parked ahead of the Nissan Latio, which was in front of the SMRT taxi.Both cars stopped in the middle of the highway when my accident happened, the Nissan ahead of the taxi. I got out of my car as I thought I hit the taxi. But both the other cars were unhurt. The taxi screamed at the Nissan driver and pinned the blame on him for causing the accident. He said that his taxi was equipped with video recording and he had all the evidence that the Nissan driver was the cause of the crash. The taxi driver asked me to claim from the Nissan for my car damage and that he would provide me with the recordings as well as be a witness if need be. I took down the number plates of both vehicles and their contact numbers but the Nissan driver appeared reluctant and unwilling to claim responsibility.According to the taxi driver, he blamed the Nissan driver for cutting into his lane without signalling and jammed the brakes. He said that he blasted high beam at the Nissan and thus the Nissan driver jammed his brakes, causing the taxi to also e-brake. Their squabble has resulted in my accident.I called up the Nissan driver the following day after sending my car for assessment. He refused to claim responsibility and to engage in a discussion, bringing in 3rd parties to talk to me. It was a tough case for me to win too because his car had no damage and I hear that in most instances, cars in front never had to pay for any damage even though they intentionally caused the accident. I urge more drivers to be aware of this Singapore "Law".Thus, I decided to approach the taxi driver who had offered to provide me with the evidence he had. Previously, he sounded nice over the phone and told me to settle out of court first with the Nissan driver and only if he refused to bear responsibility should I then bring the matter up to the police. However, after I told the taxi driver that the Nissan driver refused to bear the costs of repair, he said he will send me the video evidence that night.I waited for a day in vain. The taxi hasn't send me anything. I called him up and he asked me why the driver didn't bear the responsibility. I gave him an account of my conversation with the Nissan driver and told him about the brainless law. He said he will send me the video that night again. I waited again but still received nothing. I texted him the next day but received no reply at all. I believe he is going into hiding.Right now, I realised that the taxi driver wasn't even as helpful as he claimed to be. It got me thinking whether his account of the incident was truthful. I wonder if he could probably be the cause of the squabble instead of the Nissan driver. Also, I wonder if the taxi had conspired with the Nissan driver, hoping that I crash into him. I have no idea what exactly happened between the two of them.Lessons learnt from this case for me that I would like to share with everyone. Do not believe the accounts of drivers that caused your accident - all of them are selfish and want to avoid liability. I wish that Singaporeans have more morality and sense of responsibility. Take photographs of the accident, of the drivers and car plates.I believe that the perpetrators should be responsible for the costs of repair. But I'm unsure of how to have a case against them. I guess for such a unusual case as mine, maybe we should stay at our accident location and wait for traffic police to arrive to settle the matter. Clearing up the location will only wipe out all evidences against these rogue drivers.
We are not surprised by such behaviour from these drivers. Never trust a taxi driver under any circumstances no matter how helpful or friendly they might be. Documentary evidence is still the best assurance so we must make sure we can prove our case and not rely on other parties - especially such drivers. Hopefully, your story will help others to be more cautious if they find themselves in a similar situation.