Road safety in Thailand is in the world spotlight again with the recent tragic bus crash that killed 19 in Saraburi. If you follow me on Twitter than you will probably already know that I strongly advise against taking night buses in Thailand. Accidents like these happen often but unless you follow @191Thailand on Twitter you probably won’t hear about most of them. Did you know that the same night that this fatal bus accident happened, that there were two other bad crashes involving tour buses? Then the night before another night bus crashed which injured 22 including some foreign tourists.
The fatal bus crash on Tuesday morning was reported worldwide as 19 people were killed. Even CNN did an article on it called “Deadly crash highlights dangers to Thailand tourists”. This article and travel advice released by countries such as the UK, that highlights the dangers of traveling in Thailand, has prompted discussion among Thais today on television and online media. It would seem that many Thais are embarrassed that Thailand has “one of the world’s worst road-safety records”. Even the Ministry of Foreign Affairs told relevant agencies today to come up with new measures to improve the safety of tourists, and warning Thai motorists to drive more safely.
The UK government recently came out to say that “In Thailand, a country with 50,000 British residents and over 870,000 British visitors per year, there were 68,582 road traffic incidents resulting in 9,205 deaths involving both Thai residents and tourists in 2011.” But how many of these accidents involve tour buses? I didn’t know the true extent until I spotted the above graphic on the Channel 3 breakfast show. Here is the run-down for bus accidents that had fatalities in Thailand this year:
- 6th January: Songkhla – 2 dead and 40 injured
- 9th January: Chumphon – 2 dead and 20 injured
- 6th February: Chumphon – 5 dead and 35 injured
- 15th February: Chiang Rai – 2 dead and 15 injured
- 17th February: Phrae – 2 dead and 30 injured
- 20th March: Singburi – 3 dead and 14 injured
- 8th April: Phitsanulok – 6 dead and 51 injured
- 9th April: Kalasin – 3 dead and 35 injured
- 23rd April: Ayutthaya – 1 dead and 40 injured
- 24th April: Tak 2 dead and 59 injured
- 6th May: Phrae 3 dead and thirty injured
- 7th June: Chiang Rai 1 dead and fifteen injured
- 23rd July: Saraburi 19 dead and 18 injured
Still want to take a night bus in Thailand? Don’t forget, these are only the accidents where someone died. Tour buses crash every week in Thailand. Just follow me on Twitter at @191Thailand if you don’t believe me.