Senseless At The Wheel

One of my greatest fears while living in Pattaya had been getting struck by a car blowing a redlight while I crossed Sukhumvit on my motorcycle.

The three traffic lights on that major thoroughfare remain magnets for rear-end collisions, t-bones, head-on mash-ups, and any endless combination of those three involving pedestrians, cars, and motorbikes.

Two afternoons ago I merged from Soi Wat Boom and slowed down to allow a woman driving a pick-up to execute a u-turn from the signal. She was speaking on her cell phone without any of her senses paying attention to those on the road with her. She missed me only because I backed away from her SUV.

Giving her the finger had no effect. She was lost in conversation, probably about a family member owing money, but more likely the latest episode of her soap opera since she had a smile on her face.

The female motorist proceeded up the Soi to nearly sideswipe a pole a meter from the road, then swerve into a motorcycle, knocking the drive to the ground.

The woman stopped at that moment and got out of the car. She was about forty. The phone was still stuck to her ear. Several Thais and I helped the motorcycle driver to his feet. There was no blood.

If he had been traveling at speed, this collision could have been fatal. The woman put down the phone and apologizes profusely to the injured party. The onlookers scowled at her, as if to say, “Where’s your money?”

The man thanked me and I drove off ever more careful to avoid becoming a statistics of the Thai Road Wars.

They come at you in all directions.

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