Today i going to write about the Thai traffic and the reality of it.
This is my every day reality. 2 nights ago i was going home from Klong Dao to Kantiang Bay on my 125cc Honda, i arrive at the scene just after the accident happened. There is one western man laying on the ground with his motorbike next to him, i see he is badly hurt and someone is calling an ambulance. I stop and put my motorbike diagonal out in traffic to redirect it, don´t want the poor guy to get hit a second time. The ambulance arrives quickly and the road is cleared, i continue home. The next morning i am on my way up to Saladan again to go to the Gym, after Klong Kong i see that an accident just happened. A man is sitting by the roadside with his face all bloody, he must have crashed and landed on his face without a helmet. People taking care of him while waiting for the ambulance.. i continue on. This is our everyday reality here, we who live here are so used to it so we don´t even react anymore. I did not even mention these accidents to anyone until now.
So what can be said about the accident statistics.
According to a WHO report Thailand has the second highest number of road accidental deaths in the world after war-ravaged Libya.
To get an idea how many accidents we talk about lets take a look at the New year, also known in Thailand as “The seven deadliest days”. From December 29 to January 4, 2017 478 people was killed in accidents on the roads of Thailand. 4128 people was reported injured and 3919 road accidents occurred, and this is just the ones we know of.
Around 80 people lose their lives in the Thai traffic every day all year around.
According to official statistics, 14,059 people were killed on Thai roads and highways in 2012, translating to a road-death rate of 36.2 people per 100,000.
The WHO estimates 24,237 were actually killed in 2012 based on its models, 42% more than stated by Thailand’s Public Health Ministry.
So what can you expect when you are driving in Thailand?
- First, always expect the unexpected.
- Turning without using a turn signal.
- Driving without light or only with highlight.
- Driving against traffic and on sidewalks.
- Animals in the middle of the road.
- Drunk and intoxicated driving.
- Bad roads with big potholes.
- Kids under 15 driving.
- Road-rage and speeding.
- Drivers with no drivers licence no experience.
- Overloaded trucks and cars.
This is just a few things that you need to get used to when living here.
So as a foreigner trying to survive on the roads here, what do you need to think about?
- If you have no experience about driving, don´t drive.. take a taxi.
- Drive on the left side.
- Use a helmet and try not to drive drunk.
- Don´t insult Thai drivers.
- Walk towards the traffic on the right so you can see whats coming.
- Don´t drive to slow and keep to the side when people want to pass you.
- Have a proper insurance.
- Use common sense.
Stay safe on the roads and have a great day!