World Atlas Of Bad Driving: Asia

Day Two of the World Atlas Of Bad Driving turns to Asia, where the attitude towards traffic is, well, different.

And by different, we mean rather fatalistic. When we conceived Crash Week, we wanted to be relatively tasteful in our crash coverage, even when showing accidents. Unfortunately, between the number of pedestrians, bicyclists, scooters, motorcycles, donkeys (honestly), and heaven knows what on Asian roads-plus the cavalier attitude of Asian TV channels towards showing blood-choosing footage was a harrowing task. Here's what we managed to pluck from the carnage. Click Next for the first exhibit.

NATION OF ORIGIN: China

NATURE OF INCIDENT: Apparently having your lights on in the fog is not an international phenomenon, so it's a good thing these vehicles weren't traveling at normal highway speeds.. This is an remarkably close-up view of a multi-car pile-up.

NATION OF ORIGIN: China

NATURE OF INCIDENT: Oh, those crazy Asian intersections where signals are ignored in favor of some sort of traffic etiquette, if signals are present in the first place. Frankly, we're glad this went out of the frame.


NATION OF ORIGIN: Singapore

NATURE OF INCIDENT: Cue a flinchworthy montage. What's traffic like in a tiny, dense country so legally rigid that chewing gum is against the law? Chaos, apparently. Strict laws don't mean people are paying strict attention.


NATION OF ORIGIN: Japan

NATURE OF INCIDENT: Japan seems to be more willing than most Asian nations to share its traffic camera footage, This is from a local newscast, the topic of which seems to be safety, and the traffic cam in question seems to be on a rather wide hallway rather than a road.

NATION OF ORIGIN: Australia

NATURE OF INCIDENT: Right, Australia is not in Asia, but calling this the Australasian section seemed silly, and this doesn't fit anywhere else; Australia deserves its own section but we just don't have room. So here's a segment from Aussie TV, filmed as part of a special report on accidents, in which the crew was lucky enough to have a semitruck PIT-turn a Mercedes right when they were filming.

NATION OF ORIGIN: Japan

NATURE OF INCIDENT: As noted, there were plenty of clips we couldn't show you because of the graphic bicycle/scooter/motorcycle involvement. This one we can! It's a reenactment done by the Tokyo police to demonstrate the necessity of caution to bicyclists. Their bike safety officers seem somewhat more hardcore than our own.

NATION OF ORIGIN: India

NATURE OF INCIDENT: This is two minutes of small miracles-maybe not so small, if you've been looking at Asian crash footage for days. It's merely normal truck, car, bike, and jitney-cab traffic at an Indian intersection, which is sort of like saying "merely two minutes of the Blue Angels, Thunderbirds, and Red Arrows all flying together." Watch for the shocking surprise ending.