Car Accident Head On Collision in Cameron Highlands

It's been several weeks since the head on collision car accident in Cameron Highlands. Still left me thinking how it could it have happened and many what-ifs to have avoided the disaster. We were fortunate that there was no serious injury from either party though my mom-in-law is still suffering from aches and pains from that unfortunate car crash. And our car was a wreck and still sitting in the workshop waiting for the go ahead from the insurance company to proceed with the repairs.

Car accident head on collision! Our Toyota Wish was a total wreck!

I'm posting it in this highlands blog to warn tourist to always be careful and mindful of how you drive when you go for a holiday up in the highlands. The roads are winding and there are many blind corners. Drive with common sense and be courteous and don't act like you are king of the road or show off your driving skill or show off your expensive luxury powerful car or block other road users if they want to overtake you.

It was the last day of our holiday in Cameron Highlands having checked out of Greenhill Resort Apartment and wondering where to take our lunch since most Chinese restaurants were closed from working very hard during the Chinese New Year and super long holiday weekends that happened to bunch up around end January and early February. We decided to take the Simpang Pulai route to head to Ipoh for lunch.

We drove rather reasonably slow as we have a 3 car convoy, enjoying the scenery while my 1-½ year old baby was acting cute in his baby seat. We turn off from the T-junction in Kampung Raja and were on an uphill drive. Though my road became a two way road for overtaking, I didn't keep left but it was still my right of way going uphill. Here it was a what-if had I kept left but it was too late now.

The head on car collision

 The Mercedes car that ram into us!

I saw the lorry and perhaps a few cars were driving slowly behind it in the opposite direction as I was making the bend. As soon as I cleared the bend and there it was! A speeding Mercedes doing a crazy overtaking over many cars heading straight to my Toyota Wish! The driver probably lost patience and thought he could overtake all the slow vehicles in one fast swoop but didn't he know he was going into a road bend and he would not be able to see any oncoming traffic?

I tried to go left to avoid and so did the Mercedes, but there was not enough time for avoidance. We probably only have about a split second and could not do anything! My wife looked in surprise when she saw the oncoming Mercedes heading straight into us!


And the next thing I knew the head on car collision has released the airbags, foul smelling gas from the air-conditioning came out from the vent, the car engine was dead with the horn blaring away! The front windscreen was cracked and I was stunned sitting there in the car. Tried to restart the car but the engine was already damaged beyond functioning. Hot steam vent out from the damaged radiator and my wife quickly scramble out to check on baby who was crying from the impact.

Damn! I was rather pissed off at the Mercedes driver and came out of the car and found that the driver was alright decided to scold him somewhat asking what was he trying to do overtaking on a double line and a blind corner! But I calmed down as it was of no use crying over spilled milk. I was still in a dazed after the impact and could see the driver's wife shocked at the situation and hurting at the chest from the head on collision.

The site of the accident, the road from Kampung Raja, you can see the road bend, definitely if you attempt to overtake here you can't see any oncoming car!

It was fortunate that my car wasn't very fast going on uphill drive but still we were hurt from bruises and strains and aches from the impact! My baby only had a gash on his forehead, no other visible injury while my wife had bruises on her knees from the impact to the glove compartment. I had some minor cuts and bruising from air bag and sore neck from the whiplash while my mom-in-law had it the worse as she was bending forward to remove the baby's jacket and she was thrown about the most. If not for the restrain from the safety belt which she had the right mind to wear, it would have been far worse for her.

The couple in the Mercedes was not seriously hurt though the wife of the driver suffered from the impact the most as the passenger side of the car bore the brunt of the impact against our car.

When my other family members caught up with us in their cars, they saw the mishap and were shock at the head on collision accident. It was unthinkable that it could have happened but it did. They even thought that our car would explode! Actually it is not possible for cars to explode in a collision, that's too much Hollywood myth stuck in most people's mind. Cars do not easily catch fire especially modern cars. I recall in the documentary, Mythbuster has thrown several cars over the cliff with the petrol tank in different configuration and all failed to explode.

Tow Truck, be careful with them

One thing about accidents, tow truck operators always seem to appear out of nowhere like vultures on the hunt for carcass. They wanted to tow to their workshop, but that would be a bad idea as you would end up having your car ransomed to their car repair demands plus it may not be covered by your insurance even if they reassured you that they are their panel. In the end we requested them to tow it to the police station and called our familiar workshop, Kota Ming Motors to arrange for a tow truck to come all the way from Petaling Jaya to Cameron Highlands and tow it back. Always better to deal with your familiar trusted car workshop even if far away than get cheated by one that may seem convenient at that time but would prove to be more trouble later on especially since this is such a major damage to the car.

Just in case of any unseen injuries my wife, her mom, and our son went to the Tanah Rata hospital for checks, while my brother-in-law and I went to the Tanah Rata Police Station to file a car accident report. In Malaysia we have 24 hours to make a police report for major accident. Anyway filing a report takes many hours based on my experience on previous road mishaps. This was the most serious of all. In Malaysia you can be a careful driver but sometimes situation is beyond your control and other people may crash their cars into yours. As they said, "you may not bang them (their cars) they may bang into you (your car)."

Filing the Police Report

The police were very helpful and courteous when making the report, knowing the trauma that we all went through. I suppose they know this kind of things was bound to happen as the roads in Cameron Highlands were narrow and winding and many drivers make mistakes and poor judgment calls very often.

The car airbags were released during the head on car collision. Always wear your safety belt for front and rear passengers

I learned that on average about 10 such head on collision occurs every day in Cameron Highlands! Even when we had our accident, already another head on collision occurred in Ringlet involving a Toyota Wish and Toyota Avanza! On a peak holiday season, sometimes as many as 30 such head on collision happens!

So guys and gals, be careful and have patience while driving in the highlands and do let others pass you if you are a slow and overly cautious driver unfamiliar with the winding road.

Going back home

We were in some ways fortunate we came up in a convoy of three cars. With one car damaged, we rearranged the important luggage and left behinds the bulky baby vegetables and food stuffs in the damaged Toyota Wish to fit into the two cars. However we could not fit in all of us. I decided to volunteer myself to stay behind and stay one more night in Cameron Highlands and take Kang's Mini Van service in the morning for my return to Kuala Lumpur. Also better this way as I could wait for the tow truck and pass the car keys to the tow truck operator. It was a long journey for the tow truck driver; he said it took him 4 hours of non-stop driving, and probably the same amount of time to go back to the car workshop in Petaling Jaya.

Despite the week day I had trouble getting one night accommodation in Tanah Rata; fortunately my friends here in Cameron Highlands helped me out and sort out the arrangement. It is good to know people wherever you may be. My neck was rather sore but nevertheless had a good night sleep before the journey back the next day.

Some advice when car accidents happened

  • Keep calm, no point crying over spilled milk. Count your blessings for no serious injury.
  • Take many photos
  • Take down the other driver's particulars, car registration number, insurance company for making reports and other procedures.
  • Call your insurance agent for advice
  • Don't tow your car to the local workshop, just tow it to the police station, and arrange for your own workshop to tow your car back even if it cost more. Don't let your car be ransomed by workshops you don't know.
  • It takes many hours for police report, so if you are hungry, eat first.
  • Do have medical check if you feel pain to check for any internal injuries.

Many Thanks

Many thanks to the following for their advice and assistance during this unfortunate car head on collision accident.

My brother-in-law
Father's Guesthouse
Kang Tours and Travel
Arabella Bungalow
Insurance agent

Drive safe! Better slow than never.


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