Connect with us

Why does Thailand have so many traffic deaths?

Lifestyle

Why does Thailand have so many traffic deaths?

According to an article in Forbes Magazine in 2016, Thailand ranks #2 in traffic deaths globally just after #1 Libya and before #3 Malawi.  36.2 out of 100,000 people will lose their lives on Thai roads in any given year.  Why is that do you suppose?

I understand that war-torn Libya would be a dangerous place to be on the road.  And Malawi suffers from all kinds of problems from underdevelopment to civil war; one would expect getting behind the wheel of any type of conveyance hazardous.  But Thailand?  This is a civilized country with relatively good roads and nobody dropping bombs or mortar shells.

Perhaps the answer lies in the Thai people’s attitude towards life, death and danger.  Have you ever been out driving and seen a “near miss” incident involving Thais on motorbikes?  Two or more young Thais will come screaming down a narrow alley and burst onto a main thoroughfare without even glancing towards oncoming traffic.  After the blaring horn, screeching brakes and violet swerve to avoid certain death, all passengers on the motorbike will be smiling and laughing like idiots.  It’s as if to say, “Ahhhh, what a lucky day for me”.  They are aware they’ve just cheated death, but they are unfazed.  It will not change their behavior in the slightest.

Is it that they do not fear death?  Maybe.  Most Thais believe in reincarnation as part of the Buddhist religion. Perhaps their reasoning is, “My life’s not so great anyway.  Why not see what’s next?”  Is it that they don’t think about the future?  Maybe.  Living in the moment is also part of their culture.  Considering consequences of one’s actions is not a deeply ingrained concept.

But maybe it is something a little more scientific than their attitude.  The fact that more than half of the world’s traffic deaths involve motorcycles probably hikes up their statistics quite a bit.  Since the motorbike is the number one choice of transportation for most Thais, and they will pile as many as six individuals on one set of two wheels surely affects the numbers.

Not to mention the overcrowding of other vehicular modes like pick-up trucks and songtaews (baht buses).  Ever see a songtaew wreck?  It looks like a plane crash with mangled bodies strewn everywhere.  One crash could easily net 10 deaths.

Finally, I think a fair share of deaths attributed to traffic accidents involve situations like the one we see in this picture.  What chance is this genius going to have of living if this truck full of sharp angle iron suddenly gets T-boned by a speeding SUV?  They’d need a plastic bag to carrying him away from the scene.  For sure every old-timer expat in Thailand can look at this picture and relate a similar story of Thai people’s dare-devil proclivities.

So why are there so many traffic deaths in Thailand every year?  Two words:  Thai people.

Orlando Barton

Continue Reading

More in Lifestyle

Join our Newsletter


Events

august, 2019

31mar(mar 31)00:0030nov(nov 30)23:59The ‘Formula One Race’ Starts at Hooters Exciting F1 Games

01may00:0030sep(sep 30)23:59PERFECT DUO at Hard Rock Cafe PattayaEnjoy our perfect match of 6oz LEGENDARY® BURGER and a SOFT DRINK of your choice for only BT. 299 ONLY at Hard Rock Cafe Pattaya.

01may08:3931aug(aug 31)08:39Pancake Promotion at Panorama Restaurant Royal Cliff PattayaAre you tired or feeling down? Well, our executive chef knows that good food is the best comfort! Check out our Chef Peter’s Comfort Food at Panorama – Dramatic Atmostphere.

01may09:3631aug(aug 31)09:36Maharaja’s Favorites at Maharani Restaurant Royal Cliff PattayaAdd an extra spice to your holiday with the Maharaja’s Favorites!

01may09:5331aug(aug 31)09:53Tokyo Curry at Chamu Restaurant Royal Cliff PattayaShowcasing one of the most popular dishes in Japan, try our new Tokyu Curry promotion and let us bring Japan to you at Chamu – Japanese Corner.

01may10:1331aug(aug 31)10:13Soul Food of China at Huang Chao Restaurant Royal Cliff PattayaDiscover the Soul Food of China at Huang Chao – Royal Cantonese Cuisine

01may10:4231aug(aug 31)10:42Tropical Delight Cocktails at The Bars of the Royal Cliff PattayaEnjoy the invigorating taste of our Tropical Delight Cocktails at The Bars of the Royal Cliff Beach Hotel and the Royal Cliff Grand Hotel.

01may11:5631aug(aug 31)11:56Sweet Temptations at The Bakery the Royal Cliff Beach HotelSatisfy your sweet tooth and enjoy fruity Sweet Temptaions at The Bakery @ the Royal Cliff Beach Hotel.

27augalldayHooters Beach Party Feat. DJ Riviere at Hooters PattayaJoin Us Every Tuesday for our Hooters Beach Party in Pattaya!!

28aug08:0021:00Pattaya Amateur Golf Series at Eastern Star Golf ClubPrice includes green fee, caddy fee plus FREE BBQ from 7pm at Hemingways Jomtien – Prize Presentation 8pm.

28aug10:0013:00August Coffee Morning at Grand Regent’s Residence200 baht per person which includes free flow sparkling wine, tea, coffee and water and brunch nibbles.

29aug01sepB-Quik Racing at Bangsaen Grand Prix 2019B-Quik Racing will be at the Bangsaen Grand Prix 2019 with 6 cars entered in 4 categories with the key focus being on two new Audi R8 LMS GT3 Evo racecars in the premier category, Super Car GT3,

30aug(aug 30)19:0031(aug 31)04:00BONE Club Pattaya Present BODYSLAMJump as high as you can with Biggest Live Concert Bodyslam in the eastern part of BONE country built with the heart

31aug01sepPIPPA Presents COEOGerman duo namely, COEO music strides gracefully between a swathe of heavy disco and house for EPs labels like LET’S PLAY HOUSE, Toy Tonics, Lagaffe Tales and Razor-N-Tape. Their tracks have been featured in sets from legendary artists such as Moodymann and have successfully proved themselves to be brilliant with all of their release.

Trending

Sponsor

To Top
X