For a lot of travelers one of the first things they do, when they arrive in Thailand for a vacation, is rent a motorcycle. Cheap, and easy to get at, they are a great way to obtain around and begin to see the sights of the country. Many shops offer motorbikes for hire, for little more than a couple of dollars a day. However, there are several essential things you should consider before you choose to rent a motorbike in Thailand.
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1. Maybe you have driven in Thailand before? For lots of people this is the first time in driving within an Asian country, such as for instance Thailand. They are unused to the road rules, and too many people drive as they’d at home. They are unaware that dangers lurk around every corner. In Thailand it is not uncommon to own traffic weaving in and out, or not to stop at traffic lights or junctions. It’s normal to own traffic approach you on the incorrect side of the road, sometimes without lights on. Undertaking (overtaking on the right hand side) while illegal in the UK, is common in Thailand. And, unfortunately, drink driving is really a common occurrence in the united kingdom and accounts for a sizable proportion the high death toll on the road.
2. How experienced are you on a motorbike? Many people are novice motorcyclists, and some have not ridden before at all. This enables you to doubly vulnerable, not merely because you never know the way to handle a bicycle, but in addition because you are not familiar with driving in Thai traffic either. It pays to do a quick motorcycle proficiency course before you leave home, just so you know the basics. It would not help you in the event that you hit a patch of sand on the road (a common reason behind plenty of motorbike accidents in Thailand), as is driving too quickly, but it will enable you to be well informed and to ride to the conditions of the road.
3. Can be your motorbike roadworthy? Many of the motorbike rentals aren’t in a roadworthy condition when they are hired out. Unfortunately there is little regard for maintenance, and if something goes wrong you could take serious trouble. Always perform a full check of the vehicle 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 while you contain it, you will soon be liable, and you will probably have to pay an inflated rate for just about any repairs.
4. How good can be your helmet? Unfortunately the helmet law is not enforced in Thailand, and so many people don’t wear protective helmets when they are driving their bikes. Rental companies will often hand you a cheap, thin, plastic helmet which will do nothing in the event of an accident. Remember, your mind is extremely fragile, and you are able to incur serious brain injuries in an incident, even at slow speeds. If you’re renting a bicycle, spend money on buying your own personal helmet. Make sure it is DOT compliant, and done up tightly enough that in the event of an incident it will not slip off. Many people die in bike accidents that would be prevented with the right protective headgear.
5. Have you been insured? Many people sign up for holiday insurance, but few realize that many companies don’t insure you if you’re in a motorbike accident. Read the tiny print and make 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 result in hospital consequently of hiring bikes in Thailand, and many wish they’d just hired a taxi instead. If you’re not used to driving a bicycle, don’t make an effort to learn how to drive in Thailand, learn at home.