Hey there folks, it’s me, Seven. I meant to publish this frowback a month ago, and somehow forgot. It’s fore sure the last of the Top 10 lists, and it’s short but poignant. The topic–tips for traversing Thailand via roadway–touches on just how easy it is to die whilst on the road:
1-If you’re on a motorbike, wear a helmet, first of all because it’s the law and most of the time the police will ignore Thais and target helmetless Farang. It’s a great source of revenue, ticketing Farang. And secondly, it will likely save your life. Motorbikes are the number one killer in Thailand, and you’ll learn quickly that the Thais drive crazily, and the tourists drive even crazier. However the Thais tend to know what they’re doing as they’re driving like maniacs, whereas the tourists taunt Death every time they turn the key. They are, by and large, terrible drivers, so always be wary of other Farang and literally steer clear of them.
2-The small area left of the far left lane is for slow-moving motorbikes and motorbikes coming from the opposite direction. Be aware of vehicles (and people) coming from directions they have no business coming from. This is commonplace in Thailand.
3-Be aware of oncoming traffic entering your lane; you are charged with seeing them and getting out of the way.
4-Motorbikes will pass you on the left and the right. You are responsible not to hit or be hit by them.
5-Merging traffic has the right of way! They will pull out in front of you and you must be alert, see them, and slow down to let them in.
6-Do not mistakenly drive with the same aggression and confidence of Thais. You will die.
7-Turn signals are important, use them and pay attention when others use them. If you’re driving on a single-lane road and the person in front of you puts his right turn signal on, he’s going to stop in front of you, blocking your path, to wait for oncoming traffic to clear. Remember to turn off your signal after you’ve turned. It’s annoying to Thais to drive behind a Farang with an ever-blinking signal.
8-If you get into an accident with a Thai, it is automatically your fault, because you are Farang. Arguing is useless; appealing to the police, equally useless. Which is why it’s better to be cautious and alert and avoid the accident in the first place.
9-Never drive while intoxicated. Motorbikes are the number one cause of death in Thailand, and in places like Phuket and Pattaya, Farang die daily because of drunk driving accidents. Taxis aren’t expensive, but shipping your body home will be very costly. Leave the bike, get it in the morning.
10-PEDESTRIANS DON’T HAVE THE RIGHT OF WAY, so if you step into a crossing, cars will NOT stop for you. And if you’re on a bike, beware of stupid tourists stepping directly in the path of your careening motor vehicle to be splattered all over you and send you flying into the road to die.
The main point you should take from this list is, the roads in Thailand are dangerous. You shouldn’t make them more so by driving stupidly. And the safest thing to do is to take a songtheaw, tuk-tuk, or a taxi.”
It’s been over a year since I wrote this blog, and in that time I’ve fallen off a motorbike, my friend got ran over, and a former colleague lost 3 fingers in a crash. To say you’re risking your life every time you hit the road would not be overstating. Swing by next week for Part 2 of Delirium Days, and between now and then keep your balls warm, your glass full, and your head on a swivel, because you’re always a second away from being run over. Cheers!