If you are currently enjoying life in Thailand, you are one of the lucky ones and if you are also a driver, there is always the possibility of being involved in a vehicle accident. As Thailand is not an English-speaking nation, communication can be an issue and with that in mind, here are a few tips for those who are unfortunate enough to be involved, as a driver, in a road traffic accident in Thailand.
Check For Serious Injury
Of course, this should be a priority and should there be injured parties, you need to call an ambulance. This would likely be something a local would do and there are networks of emergency ambulances that are funded by charitable organisations, so it wouldn’t take long for help to arrive.
Don’t Engage In Dialogue
Of course, you should produce your driving licence and insurance details, but other than that, refrain from talking to other drivers about what happened.
Call Your Insurance Provider
There will be a 24-hour number on the insurance windscreen sticker, and you should call that number and give the details on your location, along with reference numbers to identify you to the insurance company. In Thailand, the agents ride motorcycles and arrive very quickly. They first take photos of the scene and of damage to all vehicles, while also gathering information from the other parties involved.
Calling The Police
If it is a minor accident and no one is hurt, there’s no need to involve the police, however, if people are injured and there is debris on the road, you should call the police and have them attend the scene. In most cases, a witness would have already contacted the police in most instances.
If you are an experienced driver, check out Car Insurance Class 3 (ประกันภัยรถยนต์ 3 in Thai), a policy that offers many special benefits. Driving without insurance is definitely not recommended and with the online Thai insurer, you can arrange cover via the Internet.
Take Photos With Your Smartphone
You should take images and video of any witness statements and if the police arrive, be courteous and present your documents when requested.
If you are not a Thai speaker, try to find someone who can translate for you when talking to your insurance official and the police. It might be a passer-by or a friend who you could call and come out to the scene of the accident.
Don’t Sign Anything You Don’t Understand
If you are asked to sign any document that is not in English, you should politely refuse and wait for a translator to arrive. Putting your name to something you can’t read could lead to serious consequences.
Unless your vehicle is blocking the road or presenting a danger, you should not move the car, at least until the insurance agent arrives. If all vehicles involved remain where they are, it is easier for the authorities to carry out an investigation to determine who is at fault.