Normal day / night on Thai roads then
Hi all, just driven today from kanchanaburi to khon kaen,I now understand why most traffic keeps to the right hand lane, ( numb nuts drivers who join the road and then do 5kmh!! And the huge pot holes and ruts caused by the overladen smoking old lorrys) why is it that the fortuner drivers (all of them today without exception) drive up your arse, and take the absolute when overtaking, driving in the " motorcycle " lane etc....bloody drivers...oh, and it's a new experience to drive at night with vehicles behind you with no headlights on, gives you a good old fright when you pull out to overtake and there they are, but they look at you like your a for pulling out!!!...oh, and o forgot to add the cars and motorbikes that drive still you in the motorcycle lane the wrong way with headlights on full beam, because they can't be arsed to go to the next U turn point....
i could go in, but I won't...
Last edited by Tobias; 27th Oct 2017 at 18:02. Reason: Language filter violations
Normal day / night on Thai roads then
You're learning . Wait until you come across a CAR coming towards you on your side, half way into the motorbike lane, in the dark with no lights. You'll come across many strange things, some dangerous, some bizzare and some just plain suicidal but if I could pass on one bit of advice that I try to stick to..............driving at night in Thailand (outside the main towns and cities)................don't do it! You'll never change them - adapt and grow a few more pairs of eyes.
The government old and new talk about improving things but they are all empty promises. People seem to do what they want on the roads regardless of laws or common sense, hence the horrendous figures on road deaths. I read recently that only Libya was worse and thats basically a war zone.
I was told that the government were going to stop undertaking and driving down the hard shoulder on expressways - in Bangkok at first, then if it works, across the whole country. What do they mean, if it works? Bah mak!!
Don't agree about only Libya being worse though, I haven't driven anywhere worse but I've seen plenty of footage of driving in India - just a 'free for all'.
The crazy thing is that when you talk to Thais that haven't travelled, they assume that driving in Thailand is the same as everywhere else. That it's the norm. That's my experience anyway.
Last month the local police decided to try getting drivers to slow down outside my wife's school when the students were arriving in the morning and leaving in the afternoon. What was the result of this initiative you ask ?, well one of the policemen was run over and killed outside the school, I kid you not. I think we have an advantage driving there in the fact that at least we drive on the same side, I have a Canadian friend over there and he will only drive in the Kham Thale So area, he wont drive into Korat. I find it does sharpen your senses when driving there
Were just back from our Phetchabun and Upper Issan driving holiday and most of whats been written above had to be contended with IE at night driving the wrong way with no lights on etc , just got to keep your wits about you and expect the unexpected , just got to adapt to a different driving culture , been around 14 / 15 years of driving around Thailand the 1st few times seeing people riding bikes on the wrong side of the road or cars driving at night with no lights on or one light on the wrong side of the road it was like " what the hell are they doing " ..... but now it s like it is going to happen but just dont know where or when.
Thai road carnage: A MILLION injuries and 24,000 deaths per year, official admits: http://bit.ly/2yQXTbp
Although it states most accidents are because of drink driving buts it's obvious that's only one cause. Others are as previously stated and of course road rage and not paying attention, using the phone and plain stupidity etc. The death figure should be a lot higher as people who die in hospital are recorded as death from the their injury/ies that killed them not the the accident. Plenty of video clips on you tube of Thai accidents on you tube
Last edited by stevie57; 28th Oct 2017 at 19:59. Reason: addition
One thing I have noticed over the last 15 years or so, the general standard of driving seems to have improved slightly. By that I mean, that most people seem to drive in an orderly, almost normal manner for most of the time. However, all the crazy things (discussed above and more) continue to happen, just to a lesser extent which tends to make you feel things have not changed. However, even if I'm right and there has been some improvement, its a long long way off being acceptable.
But then again, what's to be expected with a system where driver training is at best, crap, the instructors couldn't drive themselves out of a paper bag and the driving test (which we could discuss for weeks) is a joke? I have yet to come across a Thai driver that knows how to behave at a roundabout or what to do when confronted with an emergency services vehicle.
So, until training is massively improved and the standard required to pass a test drastically raised (without corruption too), nothing is going to change. It would be so simple to do as well, then maybe many of the 80 or so lives that are lost on Thailand's roads every day, could be saved.
Its not all about training though, some of the driving behaviour just beggars belief and runs against your natural survival instincts - for example, motorcyclists pulling out without looking. Sometimes I think they have a bracket connecting their head to the handlebars so they can only look in the direction the bike is pointing in (if you haven't noticed that before, look tomorrow). I've been motorbiking for nearly 50 years (jeez I'm old) and there is no way I would ever, ever, pull out from a side road without looking to make sure it's safe to do so - cars hurt when they hit you! Its a no brainer to me, yet I'd say at least 75% of motorcyclists in Thailand ride that way - can't figure it.
I never drive here, that's what the wife is for, well she does all else!
Last edited by Tobias; 30th Oct 2017 at 00:56. Reason: Language filter violation
I've been driving here since 2012, just used to it now. It seems to work like this for Thais, if I don't look, I can't see it, if I can't see it, it can't be there, so it's safe to go. Oh the 80% tinted windscreens help as well.
Remember do it them before they do it to you lol and you will be fine.
Hi all, I'm still here in khon kaen, not flying home untill Sunday,my friends wife picked me up this morning and took me to a pharmacy near the kosa and Pullman hotels....I needed to buy some diuretic tablets (300 thb ) for 3 months supply,so no complaints from me, she offered to take me as she couldn't explain clear enough where the shop was and she didn't want me getting lost. On the way back home, we had to turn right at a junction, I thought she would wait in the middle of the road, and when clear make the turn......oh no,light goes green,about 10 scooters hurtle towards us, but she just turned right across them!!!! She never batted an eyelid....
as many of you have said, you will never change them, but yes, you can adapt your driving to their manic behaviour so it's less of a shock. But I still enjoy driving here, as has been said above, I now expect things to happen, I just don't know where or when...it has been great reading all about your experiences though.
how can anyone fail a driving test in thailand ?Been driving some sort of motor vehicle since 6 years old lol
I'll take my hat off to anyone who can drive in Thailand without having a crash/accident.
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My Mrs failed twice until she went for the test in her govt uniform and found out that the examiner was a relative of a friend at work, and then she passed !. The one thing that really puts sand in my Vaseline is when you see a queue of cars waiting to turn right on the slip on a dual ( or more) carriageway and some important gentleman normally in a pickup stops near the front of the queue in the outside lane because he is far to important to join the back of the queue. so now you have two lanes trying to turn right. when I was there in August I was sat in the passenger seat of the wife's car and a taxi did it to us, I said to the wife what's going to happen if I shake this 1.5 litre bottle of coke and spray it all over his windscreen. we managed to get across so i never got to find out
Wait until you come to a set of lights the same as one in the centre of Buriram with a green right hand filter - the same as we have here in the UK.
However, there is a difference - the main light for straight on turns to green and the right hand filter lights up too - nothing new so far, quite normal but..........the oncoming traffic on the opposite side also sets off because.....you guessed it, their light also goes green .
I'm not sure if this set has just been wired wrongly or what but I nearly wiped out 3 motobikers the first time it happened to me. After calling them all the names under the sun I went to see what they were yakking back at me about - both directions and right hand filters DO go green at the same time.................Thailand!
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Another gripe I have also concerns what I would call selfish driving - I've now given up stopping at pedestrian crossings because on several occasions I've stopped (being on a multi lane road) to let people cross but drivers in the other lane (s) have simply driven past me - almost killing the pedestrians I'd encouraged to cross!!! I hate it, I have a battle with myself every time I'm in that situation - the polite (UK) driver in me wants to stop to let people cross but the (now) experienced Thai driver in me says "don't do it".
Last edited by Flip; 1st Nov 2017 at 02:54.