Driving anywhere around the world can be different. Thailand is a country of its own with driving rules that are very unique. Driving in Bangkok is different than driving in all of the other cities in Thailand. Here are a few tips that will make driving in Bangkok a little more easy and safe:
1) Be patient! Most of the people in Bangkok have a natural patience about them or they are taught it growing up, but that does not necessarily apply to the rest of the world. You will see many things when driving in Bangkok that will annoy you, but road rage is almost unheard of in Bangkok. In fact, patience is required in order to fit in to the Thai culture and will prevent losing face. People will cut you off, not let you over, come within inches of hitting you, and drivers will not use lanes, just to name a few, but that is Bangkok and that is how they drive. It seems like there would be many accidents every day, but they have adapted to their style of driving and they expect you to do the same.
2) Flash your high beams to warn somebody that wants to come out, that you are approaching! Honking the horn is not necessarily popular and is only used in a very near dangerous situation. Instead of flashing your high beams to let someone come into your lane, you flash them to tell them you are coming and they understand not to come over. It is almost like a warning not to enter. This is very opposite to what is practiced abroad.
3) Watch for motorcycles! There are accidents in Bangkok, and the majority of them involve motorcycles. Motorcycles basically ignore all the laws. They create their own lanes, they come in between the lanes, and sometimes, they come head on towards you in your own lane. If you are not careful, this will cause you to have an accident and most times, having an accident with a motorcycle is the fault of the person not driving the motorcycle. Be very careful of motorcycles!
4) Avoid your cell phone while driving! Many taxi drivers, while driving in Bangkok, will not even answer and if they do, they will say that they are driving and they will call back. Every ounce of your attention needs to be focused on the road.
Driving in Bangkok is aggressive and fun, but as always, making sure you are safe is the main objective every time you get into a vehicle.