Is is totally crazy – or is it actually quite safe?

It is written a lot in most media about the Thailand traffic. With accident rates and statistics that can scare everyone from daring to drive a vehicle in Thailand, and some also so scared that they refrain from coming here.

But is it really that bad? If it is that bad, how can even Thais live with it?

No, its not that bad! End of story…

Seriously! I have been on the road in Thailand with both a small 125CC motorbike, my own car and also on big bikes for more than 200.000 KM since 2003.

The traffic is a bit special when compared to Europe or US. But any driver with a licence from our foreign countries have more experience in reading the traffic than the locals. However, the locals has their both written and unwritten rules about how things work. This is simply what we need to learn before we enter the traffic here.

Some simple rules:

– If a vehicle blinks their light at you, it meens: “Be aware – here i come”! (Not to let you inf front of them, like in many European countries)

– No one is letting you in or letting you in front of them. Pushing agreesively is the key here. Make sure its clear before you enter.

– Don`t go at once when the light turns green. The locals drive on red at leat the first 5 seconds. Want and check that its clear.

– Blinking with the hazard lights means that i am going straight forward in the crossing.

All in all, the traffic runs pretty smooth here. Better than in my home country, Norway in fact.. and they are very awake on what`s in front of them here, but not so much on what`s happening behind.

Make sure you use your signal lights, look in the mirrors and don`t do sudden fast moves from lane to lane without checking, and you will be just fine in the traffic here.

When riding a motorbike, be aware of gravel in the turns, and also take it easy on wet roads. The asfalt here becomes very slippery when wet.

I know that the statistics don`t lie, but remember that 90% of the accidents comes from this:

1. 125CC motorbike drivers without knowledge and licence. There are many, but compare to the millions of bikes, most of them are ok.

2. Both drunk and sober tourists in the tourist places riding the 125CC mc`s without any form of experience or licence. Makes the statistics high.

3. Bus, minibus and truck drivers that don`t rest and fall asleep behind the wheel.

4. Drunk drivers in the holiday season that also falls asleep and go off the road.

In my time on the road, i have seen a few accidents, but i am actually amazed that i haven`t seen more. If i compare to the statistics, it should be more. And also, remember that it is 70 million people in Thailand, more and more can afford cars, but almost all of them has a 125cc motorbike. That paints a picture of why the statistics shows so many accidents.

Remember that the heavy traffic is also mostly n the highways between the big cities. There`s where the accidents happens. There are a lot of beutiful non-traffic rural roads you can ride safely anywhere. Peaceful and quiet, nice asfalt, nice curvy roads with stunning scenery. There is where you need to go!

Don`t worry folks… its not as bad as it looks in the media, and i consider it safe to ride in Thailand.