Ready, steady, slow down
Are you guilty of rushing through life? The majority of us are. “I’m late”. “I need to run”. “I don’t have time”. You get the urge to write lists; reminders; set dates in diaries.
But when you’re travelling overseas, more haste could literally lead you to the end of your ‘to dos’ – your final destination.
Why overseas driving is over-risky
We often hear reports of road fatalities in the U.K. And when we aren’t reading about them, we’re alerted to them in ads of all shapes and sizes. But driving overseas is far more dangerous than U.K. roads, especially for those on motorbikes or scooters.
Holidays to die for
Currently, The British Foreign and Commonwealth office is pushing a road safety campaign to alert tourist and ex-pat residents overseas about dangerous drivers and road conditions – with Thailand being flagged as one of the most dangerous places.
The campaign highlights how local driving habits can make driving overseas very different from conditions at home. Essentially you need to take your time and be careful when travelling. Road traffic accidents abroad are the second most common cause of British deaths in Thailand, and account for a high number of hospitalisations. The majority of which involve motorcyclists.
Thailand – facts & figures
Young people, Thailand and motorbike accidents – six words no parent wants to hear in the same sentence. Thailand has become a hot spot, attracting more young people every year. It’s described as having ‘awesome parties, awesome beaches and awesome seafood’. But there is a dangerous downside to all this ‘awesomeness’. To support this argument we only have to look at the latest statistics.
According to the 2011 World Road Statistics, Thailand was one of the top five countries with the highest death rates from motorbikes. Up to 26,000 people were killed in Thailand last year, of those 70% to 80% were motorcyclists or their passengers. The key causes of death were speeding, drunk driving, or the failure to wear safety belts or crash helmets. Last year only 43% of motorcyclists wore helmets, down from 46% the year earlier.
Motorbike safety in Thailand
This is a guide for young people, but it’s also something parents should read if their son or daughter is travelling there.
- Before you hire a motorbike make sure you are covered by your travel insurance
- Be sure to check the small print of the agreement if you are hiring a motorbike, don’t do anything you aren’t sure of, always wear a helmet – it’s the law
- Seek local advice if you are in any way doubtful about the safety of your transport provider
- Drive slowly and carefully
- Never ever drink and drive
Try to avoid driving late at night; this is when the majority of accidents happen.
Travel insurance is necessary – never leave home without it
This headline speaks for itself. There are horror stories of people being involved in motorbike accidents abroad with no travel insurance. If you don’t trust us, ask Google. Here is one story that will hit home.
“Richard Plummer, from Kent, is currently in a coma in hospital after being seriously injured in a road accident in Indonesia. He did not have a valid travel insurance policy at the time of the incident. As a result, Richard’s father has already spent over £20,000 on medical bills for his son’s treatment. Richard’s parents now face the possibility of being forced to sell their home to fund Richard’s repatriation to the UK for treatment, which will cost around £98,000 due to medical requirements”.
Life is a journey, not a destination
And finally, remember to slow down when travelling abroad. People tend to get fixated on the end of their journey, even when they aren’t pressed for time. Just take it easy and enjoy the ride.