Road Traffic Accidents in Thailand
Information on what to do when you have a road traffic accident: who to call and how to fill in the accident report document for insurance after a car crash…
For foreigners, driving in Thailand can be very different to driving in their home country. Motorbike riders frequently drive on the wrong side of the road and cars do not always respect Thai road rules. Those new to the country will need to take great care to avoid accidents.
If an accident does occur, try to remain calm. Arguing with the other driver usually makes things worse, and any pushing and shoving will result in police fines.
- Thailand emergency number - Tel: 191
Minor Vehicle Accidents
Use the following as a guide on what to do in the event of an accident in which nobody is injured:
- Vehicles should be left where they ended up after the accident to allow police and insurance officers to establish the facts, but this may be impractical. If it proves necessary to move vehicles, do so with signed consent from the other driver and photographs of the scene. It is also reported that signed witness statements can be useful. It is better to wait for the police and/or insurance company to arrive before moving the car
- Call or ask someone to call for an ambulance (if necessary)
- Call or ask someone to call the police
- Call 191, or contact the tourist police on 1155 for English-speaking assistance
Usually, an incident report will need to be completed at the local police station.
- Ask the other drivers involved for all of their details: ID card, driver's licence, vehicle registration book (Lem Tabian) data and insurance papers, and take down the vehicle's registration number
- Provide the same information to other drivers: ID card/passport, driver's licence, vehicle registration book (Lem Tabian) data, insurance papers and the registration number of the vehicle
- Telephone the insurance company and ask for their assistance. They will usually want to attend the accident to collect all information necessary to process the claim
There is no standard accident report form, but insurance companies will generally provide a form when insurance is purchased. Individual insurance companies have their own time limits for how soon after an accident the paperwork must be submitted.
Note: Beware of people who ask for financial compensation when involved in an accident. This is not a legal requirement, but may be a quick and easy way to finalise everything. However, there is always a risk of their insurance company processing a claim later, despite your unofficial payment.
Serious Car Accidents
Ensuring people's safety is the most important aspect of a serious car accident. Call the emergency services on 191 or contact the tourist police on 1155 for English-speaking assistance.
When involved in a serious accident use the following as a guide:
- Check and care for any injured persons and apply basic first aid if necessary (if you are trained). Call or ask someone to call for an ambulance
- Have all uninjured persons move off the road to a safe place
- Call or ask someone to call the police by calling 191 and have police, tourist police 1155 and ambulance attend the accident
- Do not move the vehicles involved, no matter how bad the traffic is
- After emergency services arrive and any injured persons have been taken care of, ask other drivers for all their details: ID card, vehicle registration book (lem tabian) data, driver's licence, insurance papers and the vehicle's registration number
- Provide the same information to other drivers: ID card/passport, driver's licence, Blue Book (Lem Tabian) data, insurance papers and registration number of the vehicle
- Telephone the insurance company and ask for their assistance. They will send someone to the accident site to get the information relevant to processing the claim. If the accident happened in a remote area, this may take some time
- If the vehicle is insured abroad, check all details of what to do in the event of an accident included in the policy
- There is no standard accident report form, but insurance companies will generally provide a form when insurance is purchased. Individual insurance companies also have their own time limits for how soon a report must be made after an accident occurs
Note: It is very important to check and understand an insurance company's accident procedures, particularly those pertinent to the scene of the accident itself. Find these out when taking out the insurance.
- Complaints against unfair treatment can be handled by the Ombudsman of Thailand