A pickup truck travelling on the same Chonburi road at dusk that evening could not have stopped as the 31-year motorcycle rider fell in its ways and to her death. Police are studying the shocking dashcam footage of the incident.

The death of a young Thai woman on a Chonburi road on Friday that came about after a pickup driver opened his vehicle door is a tragic and appalling example of how easy it is to find death on Thailand’s roads.

A dashcam video of 31-year-old Waraphon Dueangkaew’s final moments makes compelling and makes the same point. Thailand’s roads are deadly dangerous.

A  Thai woman was killed last Friday when a pickup driver carelessly opened his door on a busy main road catching the motorbike travelling past in a split second of misfortune that brought an end to her life.

31-year-old Waraphon Dueangkaew was heading to a market in Chonburi on her motorcyclist on a well-travelled road.

A door of a pickup that had just pulled in opened in her way causing her to lose control of her bike which fell from under her leaving the woman also to fall back across the road.

She was immediately run over by another pickup driven 41-year-old Nonthcahai Wongwai whose dashcam footage of the tragedy showed that he never had a chance to stop.

The accident happened at dusk as traffic on the road had quietened down.

Removed to hospital but died shortly after

The woman was removed to hospital from the scene but died there from massive head trauma both to her head and her stomach area caused after she was run over by Mr Nonthcahai’s pickup.

Road fatalities, particularly on motorbikes, are ubiquitous in Thailand. They happen every day by the dozen. Yet every single accident and fatality like this leaves a trail of unimaginable emotional destruction.

Police are investigating the tragic incident

 Police Lieutenant Colonel Winal Trakoonchai who is an inspector with the Ban Bueng police in Chonburi said officers now have a copy of the dashcam footage and would use it in their investigation to determine who is at fault in the tragedy.

Thailand’s roads claim 45 lives every day primarily due to unsafe driving, 73% of them die on motorbikes

Thailand has managed over the last two years to bring down the number of road traffic accidents from over 20,000 to a projected figure of 16,500 for 2019.

The cause of Thailand’s road traffic carnage is a large increase in vehicles in recent years combined with a lack of caution and care on the roads.

Police officers have repeatedly complained that the general public refuses to take road traffic regulation and laws seriously.

Surveys have even found that Thai people are impervious to PR campaigns on road safety.

The victim Ms Waraphon was not wearing a motorbike helmet when she was killed last Friday despite it being the law. 

Loss to Thailand’s economy is vast

Research on Thailand’s road deaths shows that between those seriously injured and killed every year, the economic cost and toll is very high for Thailand quite apt from the emotional pain and sorrow that inflicts families and loved ones. 

This is calculated by taking into account the disruption to the lives of families, medical costs and the resources to care for the injured as well the lost work contribution and economic activity by those killed or maimed.

Most of those killed are active, working adults badly needed by the Thai economy.

22% of future GDP on the line according to Bloomberg Institute as the casualties are working adults

Research by the Bloomberg Institute in New York estimates that Thailand is the country in the world that stands to lose the most from road traffic fatalities.

It has advised the Thai government that the country will lose 22% of its future GDP if the problem is not robustly tackled.

One woman’s life, one blunt message

For this story, the cruel and sudden manner in which the young woman lost her life is striking. The video is compelling.

It doesn’t tell us anything about the later suffering Ms Waraphon close friends or family. The message here is blunt and abrupt. Thailand’s roads are brutally dangerous and death can come in an instant.

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Further reading:

GPS policing to be studied for all cars and motorbikes in Thailand to curb road accidents, deaths and carnage

World Bank report warns Thailand of huge potential economic loss caused by road carnage

Thailand’s road accident rate still a red light – many factors driving the carnage with no easy fix

13 families mourn loved ones killed in crash – rejected 2016 law may have prevented the horrific tragedy