For a lot of travelers one of many first things they do, if they arrive in Thailand for any occasion, is rent a motorcycle. Cheap, and easy to get at, they are a good way to get around and begin to see the sights of the country. Many shops offer motorbikes for hire, for little greater than a number of dollars a day. However, there are several very important things you should consider before you choose to rent a motorbike in Thailand.
1. Maybe you have driven in Thailand before? For lots of people that is the very first time in driving in a Asian country, such as for example Thailand. They are unused to the street 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 is normal to own traffic approach you on the wrong side of the street, sometimes with no lights on. Undertaking (overtaking on the best hand side) while illegal in the UK, is common in Thailand. And, unfortunately, drink driving is just a common occurrence in the country and accounts for a sizable proportion the high death toll on the road.
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2. How experienced are you currently on a motorbike? Many folks are novice motorcyclists, and some have never ridden before at all. This allows you to doubly vulnerable, not just because you don’t know the way to handle a bike, but also because you’re not experienced with driving in Thai traffic either. It pays to accomplish a brief motorcycle proficiency course when you leave home, just so you understand the basics. It would not help you in the event that you hit a patch of sand traveling (a common reason for a lot of motorbike accidents in Thailand), as is driving too fast, but it will enable you to be well informed and to ride to the conditions of the road.
3. Is your motorbike roadworthy? Most of the motorbike rentals aren’t in a roadworthy condition when they are hired out. Unfortunately there’s little regard for maintenance, and if something goes wrong you can take serious trouble. Always execute a full check of the automobile you’re going to hire, before agreeing to rent it. Look carefully at the treat on the tires and see if the bike has enough oil in it. If the bike does incur any damage as you own it, you is going to be liable, and you will likely have to pay an inflated rate for any repairs.
4. How good is the helmet? Unfortunately the helmet law isn’t enforced in Thailand, and so most 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 case of an accident. Remember, your head is quite fragile, and you can incur serious brain injuries in an incident, even at slow speeds. If you are renting a bike, spend money on buying your own personal helmet. Make certain it is DOT compliant, and done up tightly enough that in the case of an incident it will not slip off. Many individuals die in bike accidents that would be prevented with the best protective headgear.
5. Have you been insured? Many individuals take out holiday insurance, but few realize that many companies don’t insure you if you should be in a motorbike accident. Read the small print and make sure that you’re covered if you plan to rent a motorcycle as hospital bills can be expensive!
Don’t ruin your holiday having an unnecessary motorbike accident. A lot of people end up in hospital consequently of hiring bikes in Thailand, and many wish they’d just hired a taxi instead. If you are not used to driving a bike, don’t attempt to learn to drive in Thailand, learn at home.