Three people including an 11-month-old baby are dead after a head-on collision between 2 pickup trucksin northeastern Thailand. The accident happened on Si Sa Ket-Ubon Ratchathani Road. The two drivers sustained major injuries.
Police were alerted to the accident at 2.45pm on Wednesday on Highway No 226 at Km 7 from Si Saket to Ubon Ratchathani. At the scene they found two Isuzu D-Max pickup trucks crumpled from the head-on collision. Rescue staff had to use the jaws of life to free the passengers.
The drivers of the vehicles – Nathanon Chatkaewphanakul, 40, and Thawatchai Phromma, 47, suffered major injuries and were rushed to hospital. Their condition is critical.
Officials found the body of Muthita Ladadok, 29, Nathanon’s wife, in the front passenger seat of one truck.
Her 11-month-old daughter, who was in her arms, suffered from extensive injuries. The baby was rushed to hospital but later succumbed to her wounds. In the other truck, officials found the body of Jarunee Phromma, 39, Thawatchai’s wife, in the front passenger seat.
Police are gathering evidence to determine the cause of the accident, but a preliminary investigation showed the collision might have been caused by a slippery highway from heavy rains.
Thailand’s drivers and deadly roads
Driving in Thailand can be a hair-raising experience at the best of times, but during the country’s so-called “seven dangerous days” over the New Year holiday motorists take their lives in their hands.
Efforts to crack down on the causes of those crashes — drunk driving, corrupt cops and general weak enforcement of traffic laws — have so far proved ineffective.
The World Health Organization estimated 22,941 people die each year in traffic-related incidents in Thailand, making its roads the deadliest in Southeast Asia.
That’s an average of 62 deaths every day, according to the WHO’s 2018 report on global road safety — just slightly fewer than the average deaths over the New Year period of 66 per day.
The vast majority of those deaths — 73% — are riders of motorcycles, which have exploded in numbers over the past few decades to become the most popular form of transport for most households in the country.
Agreement on car insurance tracking
Meanwhile, The Office of Insurance Commission (OIC) and the Department of Land Transport (DLT) will share real-time data on compulsory car insurance this year, aiming to reduce the number of uninsured vehicles on the road, especially motorcycles.
Both state agencies signed a memorandum of understanding to co-develop an IT system to more efficiently track compulsory insurance.
The DLT can also check the compulsory insurance purchase status of a registered vehicle from real-time data connected to insurance companies through the platform.
Furthermore owners of vehicles without compulsory insurance will not be able to pay taxes to renew their vehicle registration. The exact number of uninsured vehicles on the road is unknown and most are likely motorcycles.
Compulsory Insurance Mandatory in Thailand
Compulsory insurance in Thailand has been in place for 27 years under the Road Accident Victims Protection Act. Itrequires owners (and renters) of all vehicle types to buy insurance. Above all to protect and provide assistance to the victims of motor accidents.
Since April of this year, the protection for compulsory insurance covers 500,000 baht for accidents that cause deaths. In the case of permanent disability (and the victim is in the right); the compensation is 500,000 baht (up from 300,000 baht earlier).
The coverage for total permanent disability or loss of organs is 200,000- 500,000 baht; up from 200,000-300,000 previously.
The fixed compulsory insurance premium rates, excluding tax imposed by the OIC, starts from 150 baht a year for motorcycles of up to 75cc horsepower;and up to 600 baht a year for motorcycles exceeding 150cc horsepower.
The insurance premium for an electric-powered motorcycle is 300 baht a year.
Compulsory insurance for cars seating up to seven people starts at 600 baht a year for both gas-powered and electric cars.