I read recently that 50/60% of drivers on Thai roads have been drinking. This reminds me of an experience I had a while ago.
We were visiting my wife’s family in Thailand and I had use of my father in law’s brand-new Fortuna. We were on our way back from a shopping trip and it was raining heavily. We were about 2 minutes from home when I needed to take a right onto our estate. Usual procedure, mirror, signal manoeuvre and stop in the middle of the road to wait for a clear crossing. Vehicles behind were passing me on the inside, EXCEPT ONE. I saw him in the mirror and released the brake but the collision was inevitable.
Wife was very quick and made sure all doors were locked and gave me clear instructions
Stay in car; no speak; no look. Then started on her phone calls. I saw the other driver approach and his demeanour appeared apologetic, UNTIL HE SAW WHO HE WAS DEALING WITH. Then he started shouting and screaming, banging on my window. All I could understand was “farang no good, bad driver” etc.
Wife just got off the phone when a mountain of a man crossed the road toward us. I thought I was in real trouble until wife said he was a neighbour she had phoned. He tried to calm the guy down but eventually took him by the throat and back-peddled him to the rear of our car and explained the law to him. Next came relatives – mother; father; sister; aunt and uncle together with a man I was told was the insurance agent. Wife told me to stay put and got out of car. So, we now have 9 people looking like drowned rats all arguing at the same time. I took out a book and started reading. This seemed to annoy the other driver to the point of hysterical. I gave up reading after going over the same paragraph a dozen times. The police arrived after about 10 minutes and the offender just crumpled.
My side: full driving licence; full insurance; roadworthy vehicle = no problem
Other side: No licence; no insurance; unroadworthy vehicle; driver p@@sed = big problem
Fitted front and rear dash cameras to all our vehicles
I never drive in Thailand without a Thai passenger. Wife a hero.
I often wondered how I would have fared as a holiday maker in a rented vehicle on my own and not knowing the language.
Final note: 30 minutes after the collision we drove away in brilliant sunshine!