Tips on Handling the TRaffic
Is it Safe to drive a scooter in Bali?
Yes, and no. Getting and driving a scooter or motorbike in Bali is rather easy which is mainly due to a lack of law enforcement. Unfortunately this also seems to encourage visitors to be a bit too careless about their own safety when it comes to renting a scooter or a motorbike, which leads regularly to horrible accidents and huge painful dramas. Scooter accidents are probably the most common “problems” travelers experience in Bali and in that sense, it’s also the most dangerous activity – but mostly self-induced, and sometimes even fatal.
Basic Safety Rules
- Choose a RELIABLE Rental Company
- Always wear a helmet with a strap
- Protect your eyes (helmet or sunglasses)
- Closed shoes if possible
- Check the bike before driving off (breaks, lights, tire pressure)
- No alcohol, no drugs!
- Always horn when overtaking
- Expect anything anytime appearing from anywhere – no joke!!
- Don’t speed, anything between 25 and 35km/h is sufficient
- Roads can be slippery, particularly after or during rain fall
- Always watch the road for holes, stones, rubble
- Exhaust can be really hot, watch your leg
- Ask the rental guys about insurance
- Keep the name and mobile number of the rental guys with you
Main Factors for getting in trouble with a scooter
Adapting to the Traffic Conditions
The traffic itself is a challenge. It’s different to what most people are used to at home, so it can be confusing, overwhelming. Even though it looks as if there are no rules, there are indeed rules that everybody in a way knows and plays along with.
Overestimating yourself and your skills
Accidents with scooters and motorbikes happen very often. Most accidents with tourists happen because they overestimate themselves and their driving skills. Driving too fast! It’s very easy, even for beginners getting used to two motorised wheels, to drive fast, but to control a difficult situation, to break hard or to take narrow curve is something that needs practice.
Stupidity, drinking (and drugs)
It can be tempting to drink a few Bintang beers, and drive back home on your scooter in the middle of the night and save on the taxi fee. But you would not be the first one who would leave Bali in a wooden box because a dog crossed your way in the darkness, a truck appeared without lights, or a hole in the street was the last thing you remember when waking up in the hospital.