Deaths in Thailand bring overseas crash victims to 7 in 3 weeks
S'porean pair, aged 27 and 22, killed in motorcycle accident in Thailand's southern province on Sunday
The death toll involving Singaporeans killed in overseas traffic accidents continues to rise.
In the latest case that happened on New Year's Eve (NYE), a year-end getaway ended horribly wrong for a Singaporean pair killed in a road accident in Thailand.
This marks the fourth reported case of a fatal traffic incident overseas involving Singaporeans in recent weeks, claiming a total of seven lives.
In the latest incident, Mr Ng Yong Sing, 27, and Miss Vanalyn Png, 22, were riding their motorcycle near Thailand's southern Phatthalung province when they met with tragedy.
According to reports, the Singapore-registered motorcycle they were on skidded on a wet road, causing them to fall into a 3m-deep drain that day.
Miss Png's brother, Mr Jervis Png, wrote on Faceboook yesterday that Mr Ng died instantly. Miss Png was hospitalised with broken arms and internal bleeding in her head and abdominal areas. She died yesterday.
Said Mr Png: "The doctor tried hard but couldn't save her. Vanalyn fought the battle bravely and she lost.
"Vana was a happy-go-lucky person, always cheerful and infecting people around her with her contagious laughter. All I can say is, she lived her life to the fullest and was happy till her last day."
The New Paper understands the Singapore Embassy in Bangkok is rendering consular assistance.
Mr Ng, who had just turned 27 on Christmas Day, is understood to have been the one riding the motorcycle, a Honda CB400 Super Four. Miss Png was riding pillion.
A car crash in the US killed Singapore Armed Forces scholar Justin Yeo Jun Xi, 22, and his parents. His 19-year-old sister survived.
Interior designer Koh Yuan Ling, 33, died in a traffic accident while travelling in South Africa with her sister, who is understood to have survived.
Mr Seow Kai Yuan was driving in New Zealand on State Highway 6, Ruatapu Road, when he got into a traffic accident with another vehicle and died.
The accident, together with the others in the last three weeks, highlighted the potential dangers Singaporeans face when they choose to drive or ride while holidaying overseas - an increasingly popular choice, according to tour agencies interviewed in earlier reports.
Mr Kennie Pan, 27, a photographer, took a six-month road trip on his motorcycle across South-east Asia in 2016 and rode through the Phatthalung province in Thailand.
He told TNP that while most roads in Thailand are safe, some can be dangerous, especially in areas that are less developed.
"The dual carriageways can be dangerous because we're not used to them here, and it can be hard to see oncoming traffic. It is important to not speed, especially if there are potholes," said Mr Pan.
Automobile Association of Singapore president Bernard Tay, who is also chairman of the Singapore Road Safety Council, said drivers should plan their routes well.
He said: "Overseas, the terrain is different, the culture of driving is different, even the highway codes can be different.
"It is important to do research and study not just about driving there but also about the routes you will take, so you can plan where and when to get enough rest."
Road safety expert Gerard Pereira, a business development manager at the Singapore Safety Driving Centre, said it is important to stop and rest after driving for three to five hours.
Said Mr Pereira: "This is especially so on long highways, where your mind drifts and then you cannot react properly. Remember that the types of vehicles are different and the roads are different, you need to be alert."
Both experts cautioned against travellers hitting the roads as soon as they land in a foreign country.
Said Mr Tay: "Some countries that are further away, while it might be daylight there, it could be sleeping hours here. Your body might not be rested enough yet."