How to Stay Safe When Driving in Thailand
Driving is a process that may take a long time to learn. Some of the best drivers in the world have driven for years in every weather condition imaginable. However, since you may be neither of these and you are in a foreign country, you may as well learn something about driving in Thailand.
A good point to note is that traffic in Thailand moves on the left side of the road. This may mean making some adjustments for those people who live in countries that drive on the right. It is also advisable to get your documentation in order. This may mean having to take a driving test. Otherwise, you may be allowed to drive if you have a valid driver’s license.
This license must be in English or have an English translation beside your country’s language or be in Thai. Make sure you get insurance as well. You may need it. Now you are pretty much ready to take on the open road. However, something else to note is that it’s not just cars on the road. There are also motorbikes (some driven by children), tuk-tuks, trucks, buses and pedestrians. There is a lot more for you to pay attention to than just your fellow driver. As an added note, it is advisable to use overhead walkways for added safety if you are a pedestrian.
Thai drivers are pretty polite and will give you way. The general rule is that right of way is given to the larger vehicle. Follow all the traffic rules given and you should be just fine. Drive carefully and always remain alert. Aside from drunk driving, overtaking and speeding could cause you much more harm than just serious injury.
Avoid country roads especially at night as much as you can. Some of these roads feature precarious drops and sharp turns. These are also the roads that the night buses like to use at night to avoid all the tolls and stops on the highway. It is much safer to use the highway where there is 24-hour rescue on standby. You will be able to receive help much faster if your car breaks down there than if you have an accident at the bottom of a valley.
If you are stopped by the police at any point, remain calm and follow what they ask you. If you have done nothing wrong, there is no need to panic. You should have all the right documentation even if you are riding a motorcycle. Sometimes the vendors who lend you the motorcycle will do so even if you do not have the correct documentation. Be especially careful when riding a motorcycle. If you do not know how, do not attempt to learn here.
Driving can give you more freedom and time to properly explore Thailand. If you decide to hire a car for yourself or become a resident and buy one anyway, it is very important to learn the road safety rules. There have been very many accidents on Thai roads. It is a commonplace occurrence. Plan your route ahead of time to avoid having to check the map over and over.
Drive slowly, drive safely, keep alert and vigilant and you should enjoy your trip to Thailand.
At the very least, you will have some stories to share.