For most travelers among the first things they do, if they get to Thailand for a vacation, is rent a motorcycle. Cheap, and easy to get at, they’re a good way to have around and start to see the sights of the country. Many shops offer motorbikes for hire, for little higher than a handful of dollars a day. However, there are some very important things you should think about before you choose to rent a motorbike in Thailand.
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1. Perhaps you have driven in Thailand before? For many individuals that is initially in driving in a Asian country, such as for example Thailand. They are unused to the road rules, and a lot of people drive as they would at home. They are unaware that dangers lurk around every corner. In Thailand it’s not uncommon to own traffic weaving in and out, or never to stop at traffic lights or junctions. It’s normal to own traffic approach you on the wrong side of the road, sometimes with no lights on. Undertaking (overtaking on the proper hand side) while illegal in the UK, is common in Thailand. And, unfortunately, drink driving is a common occurrence in the united kingdom and accounts for a big proportion the high death toll on the road.
2. How experienced are you on a motorbike? Many individuals are novice motorcyclists, and some have not ridden before at all. This allows you to doubly vulnerable, not merely because that you do not know how to deal with a bike, but additionally because you are not knowledgeable about driving in Thai traffic either. It pays to do a short motorcycle proficiency course when you leave home, just so you know the basics. It might not assist you to in the event that you hit a patch of sand on the way (a common reason for lots of motorbike accidents in Thailand), as is driving too quickly, but it’ll enable one to be more confident and to ride to the conditions of the road.
3. Is your motorbike roadworthy? Many of the motorbike rentals aren’t in a roadworthy condition when they’re hired out. Unfortunately there’s little regard for maintenance, and if something goes wrong you may maintain serious trouble. Always perform a full check of the car you are about to hire, before agreeing to rent it. Look carefully at the treat on the tires and determine if the bike has enough oil in it. If the bike does incur any damage when you have it, you will be liable, and you will probably have to pay an inflated rate for any repairs.
4. How good is your helmet? Unfortunately the helmet law isn’t enforced in Thailand, and so many people don’t wear protective helmets when they’re driving their bikes. Rental companies will often hand you a cheap, thin, plastic helmet that will do nothing in the event of an accident. Remember, your head is extremely fragile, and you are able to incur serious brain injuries in an incident, even at slow speeds. If you are renting a bike, spend money on buying your personal helmet. Ensure it’s DOT compliant, and done up tightly enough that in the event of an incident it won’t slip off. Many people die in bike accidents that may be prevented with the proper protective headgear.
5. Are you insured? Many people remove holiday insurance, but few realize that lots of companies don’t insure you if you should be in a motorbike accident. Read the little print and be sure that you are covered if you intend to rent a motorcycle as hospital bills could be expensive!
Don’t ruin your holiday with an unnecessary motorbike accident. A lot of people end up in hospital as a result of hiring bikes in Thailand, and many wish they had just hired a taxi instead. If you are not used to driving a bike, don’t make an effort to learn to drive in Thailand, learn at home.