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Most motorcycle accidents in Thailand involved cars cutting in front of traffic

Tanutam Thawan




Thai roads are among the most deadly in the world and most of the fatal accidents involve motorcycles. A recent study found that 80% of motorcycle accidents are related to cars cutting in front of oncoming traffic.

Honda and Yamaha partnered with the Thailand Accident Research Centre, or TARC, for the “In-depth Accident Investigation in Thailand,” reviewing 1,000 motorcycle accidents that took place between 2016 and 2020. The study was intended to help find solutions to help reduce the number of accidents.

The study found that most motorcycle riders involved in accidents were riding at normal speeds of around 20kph to 60kph. Researchers say most were not under the influence of alcohol. Many victims were young riders.

More than 40% of riders who died motorcycle accidents suffered severe injuries, with 62% of those riders not wearing a helmet. TARC recommends that Thai police tighten enforcement on those riding without a helmet. They also recommend that there should be a speed limit of 80kph for motorcycles as well as stricter regulations on motorbike modifications.

TARC recommends Thai officials come up with new road designs that focus on safe motorcycle riding by limiting the mix of motorcycles and cars at accident-prone areas like U-turns, intersections and highway entrances and exits.

TARC also suggests Thai officials review driving courses to add more focus on skills that help with a driver’s judgement and decision making.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand


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  1. Avatar

    David Jackson

    Thursday, March 18, 2021 at 1:35 pm

    I have been riding motorcycles since passing my full UK motorcycle test in 1987.

    My daily commute from Samrong to Hua Mak is fully of incidents and, I would definitely agree with this article as every single day between one and three vehicles pull out on me. I am riding at around 50 km/h and usually wear a bright yellow high visibilty jacket along Sri Nakarin Road.

    It is as though these drivers do not care for my safety; their journey is always more important than mine although I always arrive before them and enjoy gently waking them up from their mobile phone call with a gentle tap on the window and asking them in perfect Thai to go and get their eyes tested which often results in a fun and amusing response.

    Thai people are the best people in the world face to face…but, behind the wheel of a car?!

  2. Avatar


    Thursday, March 18, 2021 at 1:49 pm

    And thai drivers of cars etc then, they are if anything just as bad if not even worse on the roads. Speeding, driving drunk, no licence, have learnt to drive by an uncle etc etc. To keep it simple, people in this country cant drive worth s,it. Never have never will.

  3. Avatar

    Jan Schauseil

    Thursday, March 18, 2021 at 1:52 pm

    Cars are bigger and more expensive than motorcycles and thus have a higher status and are higher up in the cultural hierarchy of vehicles. This gives cars the right of way before smaller vehicles and all insignificant pedestrians. Even when the car enters a main road from a smaller road. When a car or truck wants to pull out onto a main road, smaller vehicles driving on that main road are expected to slow down and give way. Cultural hierarchy comes before any official rules and regulations.

  4. Avatar


    Thursday, March 18, 2021 at 2:04 pm

    Not surprising…almost daily battle avoiding cars driving recklessly

  5. Avatar


    Thursday, March 18, 2021 at 2:06 pm

    Yes, be careful and even if you can’t wear a face mask, put a helmet on. No look left turns and no looking period, are the standard here. The road traffic is very bad for motorcycles even though the roads are nice and go through some beautiful places.

  6. Avatar

    Phuket Tony

    Thursday, March 18, 2021 at 2:37 pm

    Don’t worry… Mai Bpen Rai…

    Just keep wearing your face mask instead of a helmet as Covid is the only thing concerning in the world now..

  7. Avatar

    Amy Sukwan

    Thursday, March 18, 2021 at 3:54 pm

    I wonder if my husband’s fatal motorbike accident in 2018 was among those studied. It was in the time frame anyways.
    My pet peeve lately is that police and officials seem way more interested in enforcing nonsensical and probably dangerous mask wearing while driving a motorbike, as opposed to helmet wearing, which could actually save lives. About 90% of motorbike drivers in Phuket are wearing facemasks, while only about 40% are wearing helmets. This is completely upside down…especially as facemasks, arguably of very limited utility anyways, might impair vision or cause brain fog in ways that increase accidents!

  8. Avatar


    Thursday, March 18, 2021 at 3:59 pm

    As a motorcyclist myself I agree the compulsory wearing of crash helmets will help save lives but with a view to this article the faults in 80% of the accidents lie with car drivers cutting in front of on coming traffic so nothing to do with speeding motorcycles. The suggested remedy is to limit motorcycle speeds which will do what exactly ? No point in the study if you ignore the results and the drunk, erratic and plain stupid on the road continue behind the wheel.

  9. Avatar


    Thursday, March 18, 2021 at 4:10 pm

    What’s the difference if they use helmet or not. In Thai, riders wear the helmet without fastening to the neck. The helmet falls off the head in a collision. This is exactly the same as ride without the helmet. No difference at all.

  10. Avatar


    Thursday, March 18, 2021 at 5:06 pm

    It’s interesting someone says “don’t worry”. Having been in a motorcycle crash and the hospital for 50 subsequent days, I’m guessing someone who says “don’t worry” really has no clue anyway.

  11. Avatar

    David Mann

    Thursday, March 18, 2021 at 6:14 pm

    What frustrates me about the driving issues in Thailand is that it’s easily solved. It’s not like the Thais are trying to find a cure for cancer, or even a vaccine for Covid19. The world (even the Asian parts) know how to reduce road accidents. All they have to do is ask and I’m sure people will give free advice. It’s just about the will to do it, which is where my frustration starts. Why wouldn’t the government (especially the ministers charged with road safety) do something? It wouldn’t be fixed overnight but over the next 10 years you could cut accidents by 50% easily. It’s almost as if they are proud of being number 1 or 2 in the world for road accidents. Odd to say the least.

  12. Avatar


    Thursday, March 18, 2021 at 8:54 pm

    Been to Thailand many times but never once rode a motorbike. I don’t care to take the risk and am fine using other modes of transportation to better ensure my safety.
    I’m from the States, rode a motorcycle for about a year some ten years ago, it got old pretty quick to me.

  13. Avatar


    Thursday, March 18, 2021 at 9:30 pm

    True Amy. A face mask is more to prevent the wearer from spreading the virus, which actually dissipates in the open air, (so we are told). Difficult to pass on the virus doing 50kph in traffic when not wearing a mask, but easy to kill yourself by not wearing a helmet doing the same speed. Cue Issan John to tell me that I am wrong 🙂

  14. Avatar


    Friday, March 19, 2021 at 7:26 am

    All the discomfort without the protection.

  15. Avatar


    Friday, March 19, 2021 at 8:42 am

    After more than 50 years driving a car and riding a motorbike in Thailand I would say the biggest problem is lack of enforcement of rules. Many motorbikes ride on the wrong side of the street (making it difficult for cars to avoid) and cut across lane without looking at traffic. U-Turns are a real problem since motorbikes and cars turn into them from any lane.

  16. Avatar


    Sunday, March 21, 2021 at 1:04 am

    The problem as mentioned is lack of enforcement and even more so against cars. It’s the wild west here and all the police do is to set up checkstops to catch drunk falang or poor thais without proper documents or helmets. Yet cars speed like they are in the Indy 500 with windshields tinted so ridiculously dark they can barely see in the daytime let alone night. But the tactic works as the police are so scared they may pull over and possibly have to ticket someone who is “important”. The first rule I tell anyone driving in Thailand is there are no rules.

  17. Avatar

    Mr Peter Miller

    Sunday, March 21, 2021 at 9:30 am

    all good suggestions. ALSO it should be mandatory to turn of the headlight

  18. Avatar


    Tuesday, March 23, 2021 at 9:39 am

    The majority of local drivers here drive like maniacs, with no road sense whatsoever. With motorcycle riders, they’re going to come off second best. Unfortunately, I actually think it’s getting worse (I’ve been driving her for 30+ years, accident free), with the motorbike delivery drivers being the main culprits. There’s a school in my Mooban and the kids on motorbikes also drive with abandon, so it’s unlikely to improve anytime soon. I’ve had near misses with them several times, through no fault of my own. They’re simply reckless.

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