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Thailand – Driving

Thailand is a popular destination for tourists and expats, and driving is one way to explore the country. However, it is important to know the rules of the road and the driving standards in Thailand to ensure a safe and enjoyable driving experience. In this article, we will provide information on road safety, equipment requirements, driving rules, road signs, and parking regulations in Thailand.

Road Safety in Thailand

Road safety is a concern in Thailand, with a high number of road accidents reported each year. This is due to several factors such as poor road conditions, reckless driving, and lack of enforcement of traffic laws. It is important to be aware of the risks and take necessary precautions when driving in Thailand.

The quality of roads varies in Thailand, with major cities having well-maintained roads and highways, while rural areas may have poorly maintained roads. Local driving standards can also be quite different from those in other countries, with a more relaxed approach to traffic rules and regulations.

Equipment Requirements in Thailand

When driving in Thailand, it is mandatory to carry certain equipment in your vehicle. This includes a reflective warning triangle, first aid kit, and fire extinguisher. Failure to carry these items can result in a fine.

What to Do in the Event of a Road Accident in Thailand

If you are involved in a road accident in Thailand, you must stop and remain at the scene until the authorities arrive. It is important to exchange insurance information with the other driver and contact the local police to file a report.

Driving Rules in Thailand

In Thailand, traffic drives on the left-hand side of the road, similar to other former British colonies. The legal driving age is 18 years old, and seatbelts are mandatory for both the driver and passengers. It is also illegal to use a mobile phone while driving.

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Speed limits in Thailand vary depending on the type of road and location, with highways having a speed limit of 120 km/h and urban areas having a speed limit of 50 km/h. It is important to follow speed limits and be aware of road signs indicating speed limits.

In Thailand, the right of way is given to the vehicle on the main road. Vehicles entering from side streets or turning left must yield to oncoming traffic. It is also important to note that motorbikes and scooters often weave in and out of traffic and may not follow traffic rules.

Road Signs and Traffic Lights in Thailand

Road signs in Thailand follow international standards and are often in both Thai and English. Some important signs to note include:

  • Stop signs: red octagonal signs with the word “stop” in Thai and English
  • Yield signs: triangular signs with a red border and the word “yield” in Thai and English
  • Speed limit signs: circular signs with a red border and the maximum speed limit in kilometers per hour
  • No parking signs: rectangular signs with a red border and the words “no parking” in Thai and English

Traffic lights in Thailand follow the standard international system, with red for stop, green for go, and yellow for caution.

Where to Get Up-to-Date Road Traffic Info in Thailand

For up-to-date road traffic information in Thailand, you can visit the website of the Thai Traffic Police or download the “Thai Traffic” app. Both resources provide information on road conditions, traffic incidents, and other important information for drivers.

Parking Regulations in Thailand

Parking regulations in Thailand vary depending on the location and type of parking. In major cities, parking can be difficult to find and may require payment. There are also designated parking spaces for motorcycles and scooters. It is important to follow parking regulations and not park in no-parking zones, which may result in a fine or towing.

For disabled parking, designated parking spaces are available


Overall, it is important to remain alert and cautious while driving in Thailand, especially in busy urban areas. By following the local traffic laws, respecting the culture and being aware of potential hazards, driving in Thailand can be a safe and enjoyable experience.

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