Five tips for surviving on Thailand’s roads

  1. Understand the locals – know the risks

You need to be aware of the seemingly erratic driving habitats of many local people. Scooters will come flying by on both sides and weave dangerously through traffic and even taking to the sidewalk. Texting and driving is something you’ll see also, I mean, it’s kind of impressive to see someone driving 3 people on a motorbike without having their eyes on the road or hands on the handles, however, this is rather dangerous. Being aware of these habits will make you more cautious and ready to react. Drive carefully and cautiously and do not assume a driver has seen you. Don’t be afraid to beep your horn to make your presence known.

  1. Understand the highway code

If you don’t want to break the local laws, you’ll need to carry a Thai or international licence and wear a helmet at all times. You’ll see that many people don’t do this. But do yourself a favour, abide the law and protect yourself from other road users.

If you plan on having a drink, don’t get on your scooter. The drink driving limit is 50mg per 100ml of blood. So, if you want to party, just jump in a tuk-tuk or songthaew. They’re cheap and you’re more likely to survive the evening.

  1. Know your route

The road systems in cities like Bangkok and Chiang Mai can be rather confusing and frustrating. A great deal of one-way streets and confusing road signs are used. Map your route before heading out. You don’t want to go the wrong way down a one-way road and meet a truck head on.

  1. Drive on the left

This one’s pretty basic. The steering wheels are on the right and traffic drives on the left side of the road. For those visiting from Britain, it won’t be a problem. But just remember where the traffic is coming from.

  1. Keep left

You’ll soon learn that Thai drivers aren’t overly patient. You will want to keep to lower speeds and stick to the left of the road. Let them pass you. If they want to race, let them!The keys is to be cautious and sensible, as with road safety in most countries. But be aware of where you are and remember, drive on the left.


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