Travelling can be an extremely fun endeavor, regardless if you’re doing it alone, with friends, with a special someone, or with family. The thrill of getting to know another place and another culture is something that is always present when exploring another culture, and it’s something that can motivate people to keep on travelling. However, any foreign country, like any other place, can be ripe with all forms of danger as well.
When it comes to transportation, car accidents are situations that can happen regardless of where you are. For curious travellers, the question of how to avoid car accidents while travelling in a foreign country is something that can make or break a travel plan.
Don’t go cancelling your trips just yet, though. While the risk of accidents happening is very real, it’s just as possible that you will avoid them. A bit of foresight and research can help you avoid these accidents completely, provided you are proactive in terms of your safety.
Know Traffic Regulations and Rules
Regardless of how long you plan to stay in a certain country, it’s important to have a basic understanding as to just how traffic rules work in a particular nation. If you’ve come from the United States, then you may have a general idea about this predicament as a lot of states have different variations of traffic laws as well.
- In the United Kingdom, the Motor Insurers Bureau allows victims of accidents outside the country to be able to make claims. This is under the Fourth Directive of the European Economic Area where its member states, including countries like Austria, Denmark, and the United Kingdom, can in fact make claims for accidents that occurred abroad in their respective home nations.
- Before you arrive in a foreign country, do advanced research on the kind of traffic patterns or problems they have experienced over the past few weeks, and the kind of regulations you may have to be aware of. If you can get excerpts or digital copies of the regulations yourself, it may be handy to give them a read and keep them for reference.
- Take note of particular laws that are specific to the region where you’re staying. If you can have a copy stored in a mobile phone or in a notebook, this can greatly help you determine your best course of action in certain traffic situations that would otherwise be unfamiliar to you.
- Should you arrive in the country, try to get in touch with authority figures such as traffic officers or police officers in order to have a general idea on how traffic works in the practical sense. Laws may be enforced in different ways, so acquainting yourself with the environment helps.
Know Your Options and Stay Sharp
When you arrive in the country, try to immediately acquaint yourself with the various options you have for travel and transportation. Based on the accommodation you have and the itinerary of your trip, what are the most practical options for you in terms of travel and location?
- Car accidents don’t just happen between two cars. They can happen between a car and another vehicle. As such, take particular care in assessing your area before choosing an adequate mode of transportation. In your research, is it more practical to take a cab, to take a bus, to take a train, or to just walk to your particular destination?
- Regardless of your transport option, be extra wary of your surroundings. Always stay alert in terms of your path and where your transport is taking you. If you feel as though you are going extremely fast or being extremely risky, don’t hesitate to leave or ask the driver to stop the vehicle.
- Be wary of what particular road signs mean and what you should do when encountering them. This is especially if you’re not familiar with the language the country is using. For instance, try to get to know what signs mean you can walk, what signs mean you can stop, or what signs mean you can’t proceed.
In the Unlikely Event
Of course, the most efficient way to avoid accidents is to not have one at all. But knowing what to do if in case you get in one is very important. It may seem counter-intuitive, knowing the goal is to avoid these accidents in the first place. However, part of accident avoidance is the prevention of accidents from escalating into worse situations.
- You should know just what to do if an accident does happen to you or to people in the vicinity. Be sure to ask around, especially if you find local enforcement or a legal professional in the area, about just what sort of behavior is ideal for a foreigner should you experience an accident? This knowledge can not only help keep you and your companions safe, but also help make sure you follow the law.
- Get to know your location and find ways to get in touch with medical assistance and legal enforcement, so you know who to reach in the event of an accident. What are the locations and hotlines of such services? Knowing them in advance can be a handy reference in situations like these.
These tips on how to avoid car accidents while travelling in a foreign country might seem simple, but they are not easy to execute. Sometimes it takes a lot of effort to accomplish, especially the parts where you have to be clear with where you’re going and how you’re going to get there. Proper observance of safety protocols, especially if you follow traffic laws and regulations, can save you a great deal of trouble wherever you choose to travel.
Should you find yourself confused with how you have to keep yourself safe on the road in other countries, perhaps a more in-depth discussion on foreign traffic laws are required. However, these are more or less dependent on the country of your choice, and as such they require the participation of a lawyer knowledgeable about these regulations. You may click here to find out more.