The undocumented dangers of Thailand’s roads

It is a top tourist destination – but what the guidebooks don’t tell you is that Thailand’s roads are lethal. Now a group of mothers whose sons died in a bus crash are campaigning to change that.
Photos of the alms-giving ceremony at the Thai embassy (provided by the families)

With the Christmas holidays winding down and the weather closing in, a winter break in the tropical sun starts to sound pretty good. No wonder January and February mark the high point in our unofficial “escape season”.

Read more in Channel 4 News

WHEN are the Thai finally starting with a proper traffic-education, at least for the drivers of heavy equipment as lorries and busses, including the (mini)-vans transporting day in day out thousands of people???
The drivers has to learn finally that (over)speeding, lack of sleep, the use of certain medicines or even yaba, alcohol and continously braking whilst going downhill is not puting only their own life but also lots of other people at risk!

I came across a totally damaged minibus which dashed into the stalls of street-vendors just in front of Thermae at the Sukhumvit Rd. in between the Sois 13 and 15. Surprisingly nobody was killed or hurt! This must have been a typical combination of (over)speeding on a very busy road, might be in combination of yaba, alcohol or the use of a movile telephone. All quit normal here.

A “normal” daily accident

Walking near Asoke I was absolutely not amazed when I stumbled at this kind of accident. I witness every time I am in the city the amazing traffic-behaviour of the bus-drivers putting passengers and fellow road-users at risk: speeding to the next bus-stop and stopping at one meter or more from the sidewalk (half-way two traffic-lanes).

Here this behaviour resulted in a fairly damaged taxi and a passenger who had a big head-wound, nobody caring him after treating his head and I saw him waiting for….. the bus to continue his way.

I have learned now that I have to start using the seat-belt, also seated in the back of the taxi. I still remember the news about a female foreigner dying as she broke her neck, seated in the back of a taxi, after the taxi had an accident.

A tragic deadly accident: a young American man hit by a cement-lorry when he tried to cross the bussy Sukhumvit Rd.. As the Thai are always speeding and don’t have any respect whatseoever for pedestrians it’s a real must to use the pedestrians-bridges to cross roads! The body has been covered in the mean time by a carton box torn into pieces.

The photo shows a teacher of a school near Chiang Saen who was lucky to survive when a bus felt 90 meters down a slope due to an inexpirienced driver. Her aunt was not so lucky and died on the spot including a lot of collegues. She is also lucky to be a teacher, which means that there is more pressure at the insurance-company than when it was just a “normal” civilian who are generally spoken far behind any proper juridical help.

The frequency of accidents with these means of transport is frightening, leaving many, many innocent people dead and/or injured. One at April 17 in Korat.

One of the many daily motorbike-accidents in Thailand, showing the shocking behaviour of the Thai road-users: nobody stops and the cars are trying to get around the victims to avoid to loose time. The victim has been dragged by some bystanders, risking their own live, to the road-side to avoid more damage. Victims of accidents and pedestrians are outlawed in Thai traffic.

Location: Rama I Rd. / Phaya Thai Rd., Bangkok

Road-accident at A105 from Tak to Mae Sot

A daily, so “normal”, road-scene in Thailand: my nice start of the day, confronted with a crashed motorbike-driver, bathing in his blood so he deceased on the spot. The Prayasuren Rd., a small but quit bussy short-cut to Wacharapon to avoid the Koobon Rd. which is lots of times congested.

Photos copyright Antoni P. Uni

More photos of Thai road-accidents in Bangkok


About Antoni Uni

I am born in Haarlem, the Netherlands, and went to Spain, l'Escala - Costabrava, in 1988. After 15 years I made a mistake and went travelling in S.E. Asia. and in 2005 I dropped down in Bangkok where I still live. Mijn website met foto's is:
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2 Responses to The undocumented dangers of Thailand’s roads

  1. antoniuni says:

    30-12-2011 Latest news about people who are going “home” to their family wherever in Thailand to enjoy with them a “happy” start of the New Year: 34 deaths, 501 injuries in 427 road accidents reported on 1st day.

    This is the first of the seven New Year’s (holy)days…………..

    Source: “MCOT”

  2. antoniuni says:

    Update 3-1-2012: 241 killed in Thailand during New Year holidays and 2,382 injured (in four days)

    Read more in The Economic Times

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