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This is a post about Thai drivers. As a Thai, I am used to the driving culture of Thailand, while you may be really surprised by the way Thais drive. This article points out the most important things you should be aware of before driving in Thailand.

It is one thing to visit Thailand as a pedestrian, and a completely different experience to drive yourself. Why is that, you may ask?

As a pedestrian, you should be very careful before crossing any road. Thai drivers don't care much for pedestrians, so play it safe. Since driving is more involved than walking, it requires that you have a basic understanding of the Thai driving style.

Let's get started...


You may be astonished the first few times you see a family of 4 on a motorcycle, without anyone wearing a helmet.

Thai motorcyclists don't always look before they turn or change lanes. Often times they do not use the blinkers or leave the blinkers on, without being aware of it.

If you drive a car, keep a close eye on the motorcycles around you, since they may overtake you on either side.

Motorcycle passengers and even drivers often fiddle with their smartphones. Their attention may not be on the road.

It is perfectly normal in Thailand that a motorcycle travels for a short distance in the wrong direction, on the highway shoulder.

Be prepared to honk the horn, to get the attention of any driver.

Other Vehicles

Since the police rarely enforce the speed limits, many Thai drivers overtake you in the wrong lane. Keep a close eye on the vehicles behind you. They may change lanes unexpectedly without signaling.

Passenger vans and delivery vehicles are known to drive recklessly.

Overloaded pickup trucks is a common sight in Thailand

Thai pickup trucks are sometimes completely overloaded with heavy items. This greatly affects the steering and braking. Other times the pick up trucks are loaded vertically with light cargo, which makes them sensitive to strong winds. Keep a safe distance from these vehicles.

Generally speaking, Thai drivers do not keep enough distance to the vehicle in front of them.

Vehicles in Thailand may not stop at stop signs, and the same holds true for traffic lights. When it changes to red, some drivers may keep going for a second or two.

Driving in the dark can be especially dangerous. For example, commercial drivers work long hours and sometimes fall asleep behind the wheel.

Finally, Thai drivers have a lax attitude towards drinking and driving. Be particularly careful at night.

Suggested Reading:   Travel By Bus   Local Taxis

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