Stop for a Deadly Accident in Thailand? Nope.

We were taking a van from Krabi to Phuket. I hate taking vans or buses – or any damn thing really where a Thai is driving me around because all van drivers, bus drivers, and taxi drivers that I’ve experienced in 6 years – could give two shits for safety. That’s not a joke – that’s my opinion 100%.

We were 10 minutes from the Phuket airport. I’m in the first row of passenger seats holding our 1 year old and my wife beside me. The driver was a total fuckoff from the time we got in. He knows the road – that’s obvious. What he doesn’t know is any out of the ordinary circumstances that could have happened since the last time he drove the road. He drove with absolutely ZERO margin for error.

He took almost every single bend at 120 KPH. Many of the bends were marked – 60 KPH. Sure – 60 KPH is a joke too as they can be taken at 80 or 90 maybe, safely. Not 120 though, of that I’m sure.

So – we were just minutes from the airport when our driver said – OH!!! Loud – and I was also looking at the road ahead and saw a big dirt cloud kick up about 150m ahead of us as a Red Mercedes launched itself up over a 10 inch curb up onto a hill median with trees and SLAMMED into a tree. There was no other car around that one that crashed. The driver likely just fell asleep.

Our driver was all worked up about it – as we drove by. We could plainly see – someone was really hurt in that vehicle and yet all he did was beep a couple of times – for what reason – I’m clueless… We drove right to the airport and he dropped us off.

Did he stop to help the people in the accident? Fuck no. Would you want someone to stop to help you if someone saw you drive your car into a tree at 100 KPH?

Yeah, me too.

I don’t know what the law is in Thailand about stopping for accidents you didn’t cause – but, this is about the 4th one I’ve seen while driving with someone else  – in which the driver didn’t stop at all.

This one was pretty tragic, but I’ve also seen some horrible accidents before this that my driver didn’t stop for.

Anyone else have that experience in Thailand?

I’m not saying nobody stops – there were people outside their houses and store already when we drove by the totaled vehicle – but nobody was making a run toward it either.


Author: Vern

I'm an American expat living in Thailand. I like to write informative pieces about life in, living in Thailand, including topics like: Thai People, Thai Culture, Nightlife, Technology, and I have published a lot of photographs, videos, and even books on Thailand that you can find at There are many photographs of Thailand here - feel free to share with attribution (a link back to the home page). All written content on this site by Vern Lovic. Contact me at Google+.

7 thoughts on “Stop for a Deadly Accident in Thailand? Nope.”

  1. Yeah, in my first week in Thailand I saw, travelling in a van, what can only be described as a guy having a stroke. At least it looked that way – guy on a motorbike at the light and half his face gets super squinched up and pained. He looses all motor control and falls off the bike. We were pulling away as I was watching so our driver didn’t see but loads of people did and nobody stopped, at least nobody did anything in the next 10 or 15 seconds I could see him. I was in shock. I still often think of that guy. That really broke my heart a little – the callous indifference. I’d like to think the the Reds are fighting against the things in society that make that happen.

  2. i’ve notice that people don’t stop if they *cause* and accident either. we were in Ban Chang one morning and heard a loud bang! and a big truck going buy on the road. we walked over there. wish i hadn’t. a man and his baby got literally run over. the truck kept going. both died. it did seem that the truck had a green light and the motorbike was crossing against the light. i asked my wife if they would go chase down the truck. no. how can they find them? hit-and-runs in the states, especially when there is a death, are hunted down hard. asking around about it, it seems that if a vehicle is in a crash, lotta times the drivers just get out and run away. else when the police come, they are going to jail.

    1. I guess I was the cause of an accident this morning – and I stayed right there… offered to help the other guy on motorbike. He was coming against me – and just decided to pull out fast into the intersection from a street stall. I saw him and stopped before i got into his path (i was turning). He jammed the right front disk break and slid and went down on his side. 60 yr old guy. He was embarrassed and picked up the bike and his stuff and kept going.

      You saw a guy and his baby run over – jesus… not a nice visual there.

      I think rarely do people stop – if they can get away – agreed.

      Thanks for your comment Karl.

  3. Welcome to Thailand,

    That you would be so shocked at the drivers response is what’s interesting to me – that seems 100% normal Thai behavior to me. I lived there for 4 years and just got back to Canada. Hey if I was the average Thai van driver I wouldn’t give a shit if I was killed in an accident either so I always made my wife drive her nice big Toyota even though her upper middle class Thai instincts were to hire a driver and kick back.

    Further – Art’s rule: NEVER drive in a car or plane were the operator might believe in reincarnation.

    I met my wife in Canada my old university where I was doing some work. I was a real naive when I got there, but now I’m I veteran of Thai bovine scatology – a largish part of the modern culture there.

    1. I wasn’t that shocked I guess… I knew he’d drive by. It was directly in front of us and he saw the whole thing – and we drove by slowly – and I thought – might he stop? Nahhhh. We had time, he was well ahead of schedule… I think because he saw other people coming out of their houses he decided to keep going. Maybe he’d go anyway. No idea. Weird to see it happen – anytime it does though.

  4. Hello Vern, maybe time to move out of LOS? I don’t know if you’ve noticed,but,your last several posts have been very angry. Come on over to the P.I. for a while. Take a vacation from Thai everything.
    Just a thought. You really don’t seem happy there.
    Best wishes,
    Mr. Lee

    1. I will be doing some traveling soon – another couple weeks / months? I know – there are some things I had to get off my chest! A stressful time at the moment I guess – no time to write like I desperately need to. Cheers Mr. Lee.

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