Friends from around the World will often ask me “Is Thailand dangerous?” The answer is No. Kinda, Sorta. The next question invariably is, “Why?” The answer is drivers.
Now let’s look at the Kinda, Sorta issue. I enjoy taking photos of daily life and have been fortunate enough to have visited many provinces in Thailand which is about the size of Texas. From the streets of Bangkok to the rural countryside, I have wandered and walked and rarely had a problem. Oh, I have met a few nuts and have been yelled at by some villagers, but never really concerned about my safety.
I have been more concerned about locals back in the states. As a former paratrooper with Uncle Sam, my map reading skills are honed and unmatched. Years ago one late afternoon while driving around San Francisco with my Thai family; we somehow got lost. In the Tenderloin district. Had to stop and ask for directions. I was a little concerned. Getting back on the road was safer.
But, I try to avoid being on the roads in Thailand from dusk to dawn. Why? Drivers. They are why Thailand is not safe. It ain’t the roads, it ain’t the weather, it ain’t the vehicles, and it ain’t a buffalo. It’s the drivers. Period. A lack of safety standards and poor enforcement of traffic laws give Thailand the 2nd highest road-fatality rate in the World, according to the World Health Organization. And their trying damn hard to be #1.
And it is not just the local population. Many tourists will rent a crotch rocket, have a few drinks and go site seeing. What could possibly go wrong?
So stop by and visit Thailand. It is safe. Kinda, Sorta. Just watch out for the drivers…
Recently, Thailand has introduced traffic signs about the dangers of driving.
In the rural areas, it is common to see farmers alongside the road tending to their herd.
Nothing like a U-Turn across three lanes of traffic.
Phones contribute to many traffic accidents.
Passing on the shoulder of the road.
Driving on the shoulder on the wrong side of the road.
My experience has shown that 90 (55mph) must be the recommended minimum speed limit.
Turn Signals? Must be optional on some cars. Jesus just about got hit.
Yes, it is a blurry shot. Taken with a Nikon Coolpix many years ago. At 70mph. Anyway, these are workers are headed somewhere.
Must be late as they passed us.
Driving with friends. The driver has on a helmet. Why? So the police will not issue him a ticket. The passengers are not required to wear a helmet.