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Important rules and behaviours for driving in Thailand


Thaiger

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22 minutes ago, JamesR said:

My advice is do not go near a motorbike, take a taxi or hire a car, you life is worth more than the cost of a taxi.

I know lots of people who have had accidents on a bike, I know personally of two people in separate accidents who were killed and left a wife and children behind.

You can be as careful as possible but you can not stop the other drivers from driving badly.

 

Many posters also suggest that because the roads are too dangerous to consider driving oneself, a driver or public transport was preferable. This is of course highly illogical as they have already accused Thai drivers of being the “worst in the world” so why would they let one drive them? On one hand they admit they aren’t competent enough to drive on Thai roads and then say all Thai drivers are dangerous and no good at driving???

 

 

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1 hour ago, ctxa said:

Yeah that's also a good piece of advice. I would never ride on a bike anywhere in the world, let alone Thailand. 

As a funny story, last time I was in Pattaya for the fireworks back in November, my wife (not Thai) wanted to ride one of those win bikes from  Central Festival all the way to our hotel (Centara Grand Mirage).... I refused and so we walked almost 7km... Then I told her, yes you're tired, but you're also alive... 😂

My advice was to driving your own car. 

I do not know what a 'win' bike is but it sounds dangerous.

I drive my car in Phuket and over many parts of Thailand it is great fun, an adventure every trip. 

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1 hour ago, JamesR said:

I do not know what a 'win' bike is but it sounds dangerous.

It's those motorbike 'taxies' all around Thailand that the drivers wear an orange jacket, anyway it's dangerous, you don't even get a helmet...

I also have my own car here in Bangkok and agree that it's very fun.

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1 hour ago, Khunwilko said:

Many posters also suggest that because the roads are too dangerous to consider driving oneself, a driver or public transport was preferable. This is of course highly illogical as they have already accused Thai drivers of being the “worst in the world” so why would they let one drive them? On one hand they admit they aren’t competent enough to drive on Thai roads and then say all Thai drivers are dangerous and no good at driving???

Why do you believe people when they say all Thai drivers are dangerous?

It is a fact there are a lot more deaths on the roads than many other countries proportionally but most of deaths in Thailand are motorcycle riders.

I drive my car when I am in Phuket and it is good fun as long as I drive Thai style.

An example, do not stop for anyone on a (zebra) crossing/ marked-crossing as the cars behind you will not stop putting the pedestrian in danger if they start to cross, the way it works is you drive as normal and it is up to the pedestrian to cross when they think it is safe just like in France.

That is probably not the law but it is how it is.

Another example is when on a two lane highway and the car in front is driving slowly in the right hand lane then just go past him on the left as he will be in the right hand lane all day.

When turning left or right use both right and left mirrors to see no one is overtaking you on either side of the car.

 

 

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13 minutes ago, JamesR said:

Why do you believe people when they say all Thai drivers are dangerous?

who is "you"?

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10 hours ago, ctxa said:

we all agree there are rules and the roads are reasonable standard.

I would say with a minimum knowledge of road construction anyone can tell the roads - even new ones are not of reasonable standards and the only large single document on the Thai Highway Code is a translation from 1979. the Thai roads have changed almost beyond recognition since then.

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2 hours ago, Khunwilko said:

who is "you"?

 

You wrote, "...This is of course highly illogical as they have already accused Thai drivers of being the “worst in the world” so why would they let one drive them?

So "You" is you.

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2 hours ago, ctxa said:

It's those motorbike 'taxies' all around Thailand that the drivers wear an orange jacket, anyway it's dangerous, you don't even get a helmet...

I also have my own car here in Bangkok and agree that it's very fun.

I have driven in BKK too, I once drove from Phuket to CM over a few days visiting places on the way, good fun.

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17 minutes ago, JamesR said:

You wrote, "...This is of course highly illogical as they have already accused Thai drivers of being the “worst in the world” so why would they let one drive them?

So "You" is you.

I think you need to re-read! -

"Many posters also suggest that because the roads are too dangerous to consider driving oneself, a driver or public transport was preferable. This is of course highly illogical as they have already accused Thai drivers of being the “worst in the world” so why would they let one drive them?"

"they have already accused Thai drivers" It's a logical progression from the premise that others (foreigners) assume that all Thai drivers are bad drivers.

Edited by Khunwilko
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5 minutes ago, Khunwilko said:

I think you need to re-read! -

"Many posters also suggest that because the roads are too dangerous to consider driving oneself, a driver or public transport was preferable. This is of course highly illogical as they have already accused Thai drivers of being the “worst in the world” so why would they let one drive them?"

"they have already accused Thai drivers" It's a logical progression from the premise that others (foreigners) assume that all Thai drivers are bad drivers.

But all foreigners do not believe all Thai drivers are bad drivers, I for one don't and so therefore just because some think all Thai drivers are bad then we all believe that as it is not true and therefore do not believe everything you read. 

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On 1/16/2022 at 5:31 PM, Khunwilko said:

Interesting expression - can you define that?

Hiding behind a wall while someone else rides the bike and does your Tesco shopping for you. 

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2 minutes ago, JamesR said:

But all foreigners do not believe all Thai drivers are bad drivers, I for one don't and so therefore just because some think all Thai drivers are bad then we all believe that as it is not true and therefore do not believe everything you read. 

I'm having difficulty getting trough here - the "you" is not ME as I never said that.

Secondly you aren't arguing, you are just gainsaying apparently by deliberately misquoting me "Many posters also suggest that because the roads are too dangerous to consider driving oneself" - where do I say "all foreigners"?

You seem to be nit-picking just for the sake of disagreeing but you don't have anything to disagree with.

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On 1/14/2022 at 8:00 PM, Khunwilko said:

Beware of people who use the word ”agenda’. They use it in a negative sense because usually don’t understand the argument or are too dumb to reply. They have a FEELING they don’t like it but can’t come up with a response so cover their ignorance with cynicism.

It is basically a form of ad hominem attack – it attacks the messenger rather than the message by erroneously inferring there is a subtle, even subversive, subtext to the argument that somehow invalidates it.

They can’t actually articulate this, so instead resort to the suggestion there is an “agenda”. As if that is something secret that we are all aware of already.

It’s a close relative of sealioning and reduction ad absurdum and false syllogism.

"Let's bring this meeting to order everyone".

"Now John, what is on the agenda today".

"There is no agenda"

"What do you mean there is no agenda, well make one quickly now!"

"We we can't sir"

@Khunwilkosaid we are not allowed to sir"

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11 minutes ago, JamesR said:

Hiding behind a wall while someone else rides the bike and does your Tesco shopping for you. 

I think it is very common for people to bandy about this phrase "defensive driving" when in fact they have no idea what it actually is. 

One of the problems with criticising road safety in Thailand is that most critics have no real knowledge of either road safety or driving themselves hence the bizarre and pointless ideas on this thread.

The truth is that you need a set of skills to driver PERIOD. If you are a competent driver and have these skills, you'll be able to drive reasonably safely all over the world, including Thailand - part of those skills is adapting and adjusting to your driving environment. Giving personal anecdotes etc just indicates how that person is not able top adapt satisfactorily as they so often think that they way they drove at "home" was the "right" way and Thailand is the "wrong" way,

 

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15 minutes ago, Khunwilko said:

I'm having difficulty getting trough here - the "you" is not ME as I never said that.

Secondly you aren't arguing, you are just gainsaying apparently by deliberately misquoting me "Many posters also suggest that because the roads are too dangerous to consider driving oneself" - where do I say "all foreigners"?

You seem to be nit-picking just for the sake of disagreeing but you don't have anything to disagree with.

We are going around in circles here, let's leave this one stand as it is. 

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6 minutes ago, JamesR said:

"Let's bring this meeting to order everyone".

"Now John, what is on the agenda today".

"There is no agenda"

"What do you mean there is no agenda, well make one quickly now!"

"We we can't sir"

@Khunwilkosaid we are not allowed to sir"

I think you need to review your use of the word agenda.

but you seem to like putting words in my mouth.

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10 minutes ago, Khunwilko said:

I think you need to review your use of the word agenda.

but you seem to like putting words in my mouth.

It might be better if you didn't take yourself too seriously and gain a slight sense of humour, we are not in the debating chambers at Oxford University or discussing world events on the BBC News At Ten.

What we write here makes no difference to anyone or anything.

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17 minutes ago, Khunwilko said:

I think it is very common for people to bandy about this phrase "defensive driving" when in fact they have no idea what it actually is. 

One of the problems with criticising road safety in Thailand is that most critics have no real knowledge of either road safety or driving themselves hence the bizarre and pointless ideas on this thread.

The truth is that you need a set of skills to driver PERIOD. If you are a competent driver and have these skills, you'll be able to drive reasonably safely all over the world, including Thailand - part of those skills is adapting and adjusting to your driving environment. Giving personal anecdotes etc just indicates how that person is not able top adapt satisfactorily as they so often think that they way they drove at "home" was the "right" way and Thailand is the "wrong" way,

I suppose most people are saying if there are a massive amount of deaths on the road in Thailand compared to most other countries in the world proportionally then the driving standard can not be as high as other countries. 

I suppose if a million Thai swimmers swam five miles to an island and a million farangs did the same but 95% of Thais made it but only 10% of farangs made it then we could say Thais are better swimmers than farangs if we make sure the swimming conditions were exactly the same. 

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18 minutes ago, JamesR said:

f there are a massive amount of deaths on the road in Thailand compared to most other countries in the world proportionally then the driving standard can not be as high as other countries. 

You have totally missed the point of my argument - and have made a perfect non-sequitur.

Your premises are fallacious as are you conclusions 

 

You say " we are not in the debating chambers at Oxford University or discussing world events on the BBC News At Ten."

This conversation is not even kindergarten level

and you end up with reductio ad absurdum. I can only guess you have been drinking.

I've been trying to have an intelligent discussion about road safety in Thailand.

You appear not only to have properly read my posts but instead insist of gainsaying and making inaccurate references to what Ive posted.

If you are going to argue you could at least have the decency taketh time to formulate a coherent argument against something I've actually posted,

Edited by Khunwilko
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1 hour ago, Khunwilko said:

I think it is very common for people to bandy about this phrase "defensive driving" when in fact they have no idea what it actually is. 

Driving defensively, in this context means, take nothing for granted, and always try to anticipate what those around you are going to be doing in the next X seconds. 

These premises should be true for anywhere in the world, but in other countries they are more forgiving if you don't follow them than here. 

Example, the right of way. Don't just assume that because you have the right of way the other driver is gonna let you through. In Thailand you are better off looking like a fool letting him go even when you have the right of way, or at least taking the time to make sure he is indeed letting you go. You will avoid a lot of accidents only by this. 

Don't swerve across lanes, if you wanna switch lanes, use the indicator and change lanes slowly, always leaving space for some bike you may not have seen (dead angles) or a bike that may be speeding. 

Leave the appropriate safety distance to the car in front, and make sure those behind are leaving the distance as well to you(if they're not, find a different spot, by overtaking or whatever). 

Don't just assume that because the light is green, someone won't jump it, so exercise caution when going through red lights. 

Try not to be close anywhere to lorries (overtake them).

 

You can't just drive in here the way you do back home, and you can't drive back home the way you do here. If you travel by car and you adapt to the driving here, you will be reasonably safe. 

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5 minutes ago, ctxa said:

Example, the right of way. Don't just assume that because you have the right of way the other driver is gonna let you through

most foreigners don't realise that right of way in Thailand is to the left.

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6 minutes ago, ctxa said:

Driving defensively, in this context means, take nothing for granted, and always try to anticipate what those around you are going to be doing in the next X seconds. 

These premises should be true for anywhere in the world, but in other countries they are more forgiving if you don't follow them than here. 

Example, the right of way. Don't just assume that because you have the right of way the other driver is gonna let you through. In Thailand you are better off looking like a fool letting him go even when you have the right of way, or at least taking the time to make sure he is indeed letting you go. You will avoid a lot of accidents only by this. 

Don't swerve across lanes, if you wanna switch lanes, use the indicator and change lanes slowly, always leaving space for some bike you may not have seen (dead angles) or a bike that may be speeding. 

Leave the appropriate safety distance to the car in front, and make sure those behind are leaving the distance as well to you(if they're not, find a different spot, by overtaking or whatever). 

Don't just assume that because the light is green, someone won't jump it, so exercise caution when going through red lights. 

Try not to be close anywhere to lorries (overtake them).

You can't just drive in here the way you do back home, and you can't drive back home the way you do here. If you travel by car and you adapt to the driving here, you will be reasonably safe. 

you're mixing hypothesis with personal anecdote

 

I have avoided using the expression “defensive driving” as I think it is unhelpful.... it gets confused with “slow”, “indecisive”, “timid” and “hesitant”, all of which are to be avoided.

 

Defensive driving skills - “driving to save lives, time, and money, in spite of the conditions around you and the actions of others.” – wiki [American National Standard Safe Practices for Motor Vehicle Operation]

Defensive driving is a particular style of road driving that utilises a variety of techniques and tactics to keep you and everybody else safe on the road.

 

 

Physical skills

In terms of the basic physical tasks required, a driver must be able to control direction, acceleration, and deceleration. For motor vehicles, the detailed tasks include: 

• Starting the vehicle (how about hill starts?)

• Choosing the correct gear

• Operating the pedals with one's feet to accelerate, slow, and stop the vehicle, 

• On a manual operating gears and clutch

• Steering the vehicle

• Generally operating other important ancillary devices on the car such as indicators lights wipers etc. etc.

• Observation skills - looking for hazards and changes in the driving environment.

 

Mental skills. 

Avoiding or successfully handling an emergency driving situation - this is particularly important when driving in Thailand.... and where most foreign drivers fall flat on their face.

The following basic skills are required:

• Making good decisions based on factors such as road and traffic conditions

• Evasive manoeuvring

• Proper hand placement and seating position

• Skid control (usually an acquired skill)

• Steering and braking techniques

• Understanding vehicle dynamics

The key to driving anywhere in the world is observation and anticipation.

 

I find I need only to travel as little as a few hundred metres with another driver to get a pretty good idea of what that driver is like. It takes no accident, no swerving, swearing etc. and jamming on of brakes. If they are positioning the vehicle incorrectly or not anticipating possible hazards the point is soon made and I don’t feel comfortable travelling in their car. 

 

“Expert advice” – for no real reason the police in most countries are regarded as road safety experts – this has had mixed results. The UK police have taken the job seriously devoting whole sections of the force to learning about road safety. In Thailand the approach has been far more haphazard.

 

The UK police first produced “Roadcraft” in the 1950s in order to train their officers, and in the last two decades have radically reappraised the approach to driving. Many other organisations and individuals use this book too - civilian organisations (e.g. RoSPA), Advanced drivers and private road users as well.

 

The book has a useful road safety acronym: - mind you as a mnemonic it falls a bit short….

 

“IPSGA ...

 

·      I = Information received from the outside world by observation, and given by use of signals such as direction indicators, headlamp flashes, and horn; is a general theme running continuously throughout the application of the system by taking, using and giving information;

·      P =  Position on the road optimised for safety, visibility and correct routing, followed by best progress;

·      S =  Speed appropriate to the hazard being approached, attained via explicit braking or throttle control (engine braking), always being able to stop in the distance you can see to be clear on your side of the road;

·      G =  Gear appropriate for maximum vehicle control through the hazard, selected in one shift; and

·      A =  Acceleration for clearing the hazard safely.

 

The taking, using and giving of Information is, arguably, most important and surrounds (and drives) the five phases IPSGA. It may, and often should, be re-applied at any phase in the System.”

 

 

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Just now, Khunwilko said:

You can't just drive in here the way you do back home, and you can't drive back home the way you do here. If you travel by car and you adapt to the driving here, you will be reasonably safe.

this is true and one of the main mistakes made by foreign drivers when they come to Thailand. However if you are a competent driver and aware of your limitations it shouldn't be necessary to say this.

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1 hour ago, Khunwilko said:

most foreigners don't realise that right of way in Thailand is to the left.

I would disagree with this assumption, as most foreigners here are from the UK, and the right of way there is the same as is in Thailand. 

However those who are not from the UK, take me as an example, I'm Spanish and so the right of way there is to the right, never have I had an issue with figuring to which side is the right of way, it isn't that difficult to figure it out.... Same way that roundabouts are clockwise in Thailand/UK and counter-clockwise in Spain.... It's not rocket science, really... 

If a foreigner can't even figure out the right of way, he is a danger to everyone and should be taken off the roads. 

A different thing is knowing that you have the right of way, and still being careful or directly letting the other person go just in case. 

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7 minutes ago, ctxa said:

I would disagree with this assumption, as most foreigners here are from the UK, and the right of way there is the same as in Thailand. 

However those who are not from the UK, take me as an example, I'm Spanish and so the right of way there is to the right, never have I had an issue with figuring to which side is the right of way, it isn't that difficult to figure it out.... Same way that roundabouts are clockwise in Thailand/UK and counter-clockwise in Spain.... It's not rocket science, really.. 

Absolutely not - you are making a major mistake about right of way.

In the EU the probity is from the right and most drivers are used to this is Thailand it is the geometry and the priority is from the LEFT. In Europe the priority from the right rule has lead to a lot of problems which were solved by putting up priority signs where this rule is "overruled". In Thailand the same problem but the other way round has not been properly addressed as there is no real signage and many UK drivers are unaware of the priority rule - that's why they keep saying "he just pulled out in front of me".

in UK it is usually from the right whereas Thailand is the opposite.

 

Priority to the left is a right-of-way system, in which the driver of a vehicle is required to give way to vehicles approaching from the left at intersections. - see Highway Code translation Section 71 (500B) (1979)

Priority to the left is the basic rule and is valid if there are no traffic signs or road markings.

 

Most drivers in Thailand are NOT from the UK either

 

Edited by Khunwilko
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