Scooter Safety

Scooter Safety

Motorbikes and scooters are a common means of transportation in Thailand. Unfortunately, they also carry a serious risk of injury. Here are some guidelines from the doctors at Bangkok Hospital Siriroj’s Emergency Center on how to stay safe.


  1. Think twice before taking a motorbike taxi, especially in high-traffic areas. Thailand is famous for its congested roads and traffic jams. While it may be tempting to weave between cars on a motorbike taxi, remember that this is not the safest mode of transportation.


  1. Do not drink and drive. This should go without saying, but never drive a motorcycle if you have been drinking alcohol. If you suspect a motorbike taxi driver may be intoxicated, do not ride with him.


  1. Never drive a scooter if you do not know what you are doing. Many first-time visitors to Phuket want to try their hand at driving a scooter. While it does not require a license to do so, a large number of these inexperienced drivers end up in the hospital with serious injuries. If you wouldn’t drive a motorbike in your home country, now is not a good time to start.


  1. If you are on a scooter, always yield to oncoming cars. Drive carefully and respectfully, making sure to stay out of the way of oncoming traffic.


  1. Follow the rules of the road and do not speed. Driving beyond the speed limit is never advisable, but it is especially dangerous on a scooter. Slowing down might mean it takes you a little longer to reach your destination, but it will take less time than a visit to the emergency room.


  1. Always, always, always wear a helmet. This is the law in Thailand and police officers do check. A helmet could save your life or prevent a serious concussion. There is no excuse for not wearing one.


  1. Watch out for burns. The exhaust pipe on a scooter can get hot enough to burn your leg. Opt for newer scooter models where there metal pipe is covered and be very careful.


  1. Never try to fit too many people or bags onto a single scooter. It might be tempting to squeeze on an extra suitcase or passenger, but if your scooter swerves suddenly, this could throw off the vehicle’s balance.


  1. If you or someone you know has been in a motorbike accident, go immediately to the emergency room. Motorcycle accidents are often serious and require immediate medical intervention.