Some Traffic Rules and Riding Tips Which Foreign Rider Should Know

Every year, over 25,000 traffic accidents occur in Vietnam, causing nearly 10,000 deaths and 20,000 injuries. That means there are 37 deaths and 70 injuries per day. This number makes us think of statistics of casualties in a war. That is why we want to share some tips of riding in Vietnam.

Whatever your riding is, expert or a novice, what we share in this article will be, more or less, useful for you when riding a motorbike in Vietnam. This is a combination of my experience - a native dirt biker who has local riding habit and the regulations to note in Vietnam road traffic laws. Hope that you will find it helpful not only when you join our Vietnam motorbike tours but for daily life in Vietnam also.

preparation for motorbike trip vietnam

preparation for motorbike trip vietnam

Local Riding Habit

Instead of riding a car or using public transportion, Vietnamese people use motorbikes as their primary means of transportation in everyday life. According to statistics in January 2016, there are more than 40 million motorcycles joining traffic in Vietnam. This is the main reason leading to the traffic chaos in the country.

There is a small part of Vietnamese people not obeying the traffic law when joining in traffic. Here are some of the dangers which can happen on the road:

- People can turn, change direct, or change lanes without any signal and lack of observation. These situations can happen both on the highway and in the track.

- People can drive or ride while above the legal drink driving alcohol limit. According to statistics, Vietnam has the highest rate of beer consumption in the world. Every year, Vietnamese people consume 200 million liters of beer and 55 million liters of strong wine. Beer and wine are sold throughout Vietnam, from small grocery stores to large restaurants.

- Riders exceed the speed limit.

- The quality of the means of transportation is not guaranteed

Therefore, we would like to give you some advice as below:

- Using horns, turn signals and headlights to inform the rider or driver ahead that you want to pass. Using horn frequently is normal when joining traffic in Vietnam. To some of the difficult people, it may be uncomfortable to hear too many noises, but it is perfectly understandable if you are a foreigner.

- In addition to looking at the signal of the car and motorbike ahead, you have to observe the attitude of the vehicle controllers if they want to turn without signal or not.

- When you want to change the lane or direction, besides turning the signal on, you should turn your head back. Turn only when you feel safe.

- When riding in the track and in the village, you should pay attention to the cattle or local people can cross by without observation.



Road Traffic Law

Traffic laws are not strictly adhered to by local people. Because of that, the rate of traffic accidents in Vietnam is very high. So let we list some main points to protect your safety and avoid traffics fines and penalties by the police. Traffic laws are applied only to the National Highway, as you run in the track, in the village, you should ride in low speed to ensure your safety.

- The maximum speed allowed in urban areas where you can see the signboards in residential areas of 40 km/h for dotted white lines center dividers and 50 km / h for solid center dividers.

-As mentioned above, turn on the turn signal when you want to pass the car or motorbike ahead, change the lanes, or direction.

- Riding in the right lane for the motorbike in accordance with the signs and lines.

- Full body protection gear when joining the traffic.

Our Advices

- Obey the traffic laws of speed because it is a key element of safety. When you join our tour, instead of looking at the ODO clock, you just ride after your tour leader.

- Do not ride after using alcohol. Cold beers are always available at every point we stop, hotels or home-stays, but please respect these guidelines to keep you safe.


Normally, traffic police will not stop the vehicle controlled by foreigners because of language barriers. So, when the police stop you, do not try to talk and explain to them. They also do not like to spend time with you because they have many other things to do. Try to show out that you do not understand what they say, they will let you go. In case they are determined to keep you, a few tips may be helpful for you to keep on going.

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