Driving in Thailand
(Crazy Thai Drivers)
More Trivia from your Correspondent in ” The Land Of Smiles!!” Apologies but I simply have to get this off my Chest!! The two Countries I have visited which are home to the World’s stupidest, most dangerous drivers are India and Thailand!! Driving in Thailand is Not for those of a nervous disposition and driving defensively is the only way to survive!!
There are what I presume are intended to be Pedestrian Crossings in my Town,but they are ignored by ALL Drivers!! If wishing to cross One waits till the road is Clear!!
Thai Drivers bring a whole new meaning to the word reckless!! Many Thai drivers do not bother with a license and will happily pay the £4.00 fine if stopped in a police Road Block.For those who actually take the test it is not really designed to gauge their Driving Ability rather it is another piece of useless Thai Bureaucracy!! Upon being asked during an interview whether as a part of the Driving Test Drivers are required to drive on the Public Highway the Director of this Areas main Testing Facility gave the typically Mental Thai reply ” Oh No” that would be far too dangerous!!”
So it is that Thailand a Country with an identical number of inhabitants to the UK, but with a Land Mass equal to that of France i.e. four times the size of Britain and with far fewer Cars ( Once you get out of Town the Roads are practically deserted) has 13,000 Road Deaths every Year compared to Britain’s 3,000 not to mention the Hundreds of Thousands who are Maimed and disabled!!
There are several reasons for this e.g. at any given time day or night Thousand’s of Thai’s are driving around pissed out of their Brains.” Mai Ben Rai” translates as “No Problem” Thai’s believe this about everything it is almost as if saying this protects them like some kind of lucky charm,now many Thai’s are very poor and frankly have a pretty Shitty Life, so the positivity of “Mai Ben Rai” is a very good thing,where it becomes dangerous is when they actually believe this extends to driving a Car or Motorcycle,particularly when drunk!!
Thai’s Faith in Mai Ben Rai is absolute and frankly rather touching, sadly many will keep right on believing in this right up to the moment when their Motorcycle disappears under the back wheels of a Truck!! But by far the biggest Killer is Jai Ron ( Hot headed or impatient!!) All Thai Drivers are Jai Ron I see it with Intuon my Thai Girlfriend and every other Driver here they cannot bear to be held up for a second!! They jump Red lights,take ridiculous chances and all to save a couple of seconds!!
Driving in Thailand is made even more dangerous by Kamikaze 13 Year Old’s tearing around on Mini Super bikes,they have no license and yet the Police just ignore them!! One in fact sees Kids no more than 8 years old riding bikes around Town, I do not know whether this is legal or not but nobody seems to take any notice!!
About six Weeks ago I was coming back from the Tesco Store on the Outskirts of Town, I was Driving my Mazda which I love dearly. The Rain was coming down in bucketfuls and I was approaching a Green light on the inside lane, the vehicles on the outside Lane were halted behind a Pickup which was waiting to turn right.As I pulled away their was an enormous BANG on the Driver Door!! Looking out I could see nothing, then I looked down,there flailing on the Road were a set of Arms and Legs entangled in a Bicycle whose Back Wheel was still turning.
Getting out of the car I watched as this 30/40-year-old Woman disentangled herself from the Bicycle and struggled to her feet.To be honest I was more concerned for my Car which is Pristine ( and believe me managing to keep a Car this way in Thailand is no mean feat!!) All that I could see wrong with the car except for a few scuff marks which I figured would polish out was the fact that the Mirror had been pushed to the “Closed Position. I found myself, rather uncharitably hoping that it had been the Woman’s Head which caused the Mirror to fold!!
What on earth do you think you are doing I inquired of this Stupid person who had attempted a One Woman and Bicycle re-enactment of the “Charge of The Light Brigade!! “SOLLY, SOLLY SOLLY was her reply!! So she spoke English. If I had been two seconds later you would have been right in front of me!!, I would have braked and skidded right into you in the Rain!! You would have been on your way to Hospital and I would have been on my way to Jail!!! SOLLY,SOLLY,SOLLY!! “Oh piss off!!” By way of a rebuke!!was all I could come up with !!
The above is a perfect example of Jai Ron this NUMPTY could not bear to wait 60 or 80 seconds for the lights to go green in her favour,she saw a break in the Traffic and went for it!!This happens all the time here and on many occasions the outcome is Fatal!! In all likelihood she was in a rush to get to a Food Shop for her next plate of Issan Food,eating seems to be one of the main motivators of all these people!!
Without wishing to be uncharitable I am firmly of the opinion that the Average Thai has an I.Q. roughly equivalent to that of a Donner Kebab!! However when it comes to Driving in Thailand and indeed Driving Ability and General Road Sense Thai’s score much Worse!! In fact if compared for example with an Oven Ready Turkey the Turkey comes out as a clear winner!! While the Turkey will, on approaching Green Traffic Lights reduce speed in anticipation that the lights may be about to go Red the Thai will roar ahead throttle wide open!! I rest my case!!