Driving Overseas? You’ll Need These Safety Tips
Have you ever driven overseas before? It’s a daunting prospect, to say the least. Strange road markings, unclear signage, driving on the other side of the road, or a complete lack of driving rules and regulations.
When you’re planning to drive overseas, you must conduct plenty of research so you’re aware of any new road signs, driving etiquette, and of course local driving laws. A large number of tourists and travelers find themselves caught up in car accidents on vacation – if you’ve been in a car accident that wasn’t your fault you should look for a car accident lawyer – with many accidents resulting in their trips being cut short and having to fund expensive hospital trips.
So, to keep you and your fellow travel companions safe and out of the emergency room, here we’ll examine some simple tips that will help to keep you safe when you’re driving overseas.
Embrace safety equipment!
It’s basic advice, but many travelers leave their common sense behind when they’re caught up in the excitement of a new destination. In many countries, seatbelts aren’t a legal requirement, so it’s easy to feel pressured into not using yours. Stick to some simple safety rules and always wear your seatbelt. If you’re hiring a moped or a quad, don’t ever ride one without a good helmet and instruction from the rental company. If they don’t provide helmets as standard, then look elsewhere.
Research your route
Make sure you know where you’re going. If you’re using a GPS, key the address in before you set off so you can focus on the road ahead. Figure out if there are tolls ahead and if you’ll need money. If your journey is several hours long, ensure you plan to stop in safe locations and that fuel is available.
Bonus tip: Always check the parking situation before you travel!
Know what to do if you’re pulled over
As far as being pulled over is concerned, there may be certain etiquette that is unique to your host country. And if you’re pulled over by the police you must know what to do. Always have copies of your travel documents to hand in case they wish to see them. Remain calm and follow their instructions. Any issues should be quickly resolved if you follow this advice.
Always keep the culture in mind
Gaining an understanding of the driving culture at your destination is a simple yet effective way to build your confidence and keep yourself safe. For example, in some countries, drivers often use their horns to show their frustration and yet they also use their horns to attract the attention of people they know on the street! In Spain, drivers may flash their lights to let you know they’re about to overtake you, yet in other countries, it’s a sign of “giving way”. You may be pulled over and fined in Russia if your car is too dirty and in Thailand, it’s illegal to drive topless!
Remember, conducting plenty of research is your best defense against road accidents overseas. If you do find yourself in a car accident that wasn’t your fault, speak with a personal injury lawyer.