When you’re on vacation, it can sometimes be difficult to adjust to the new surroundings, which is why it is so important to plan ahead. Most people plan for certain safety measures when traveling, such as noting nearby medical facilities, updating necessary vaccinations, or bringing a map with them wherever they go. However, it can be very easy to overlook the leading cause of death for healthy travelers, motor vehicle accidents.
In order to protect yourself from the possibility of a motor vehicle accident on your vacation, there are a few things you can do to increase your chances of staying safe. Other countries often follow different traffic laws, driving on the other side of the road, driving without designated lanes, or even driving on unmarked roads. Depending on where you are, it may be difficult to discern the right direction to go, or at what speed, putting you in a potentially dangerous position.
Even within the United States, being in an area you aren’t familiar with could lead last-minute lane changes or confusion over traffic signals you don’t recognize. Either way, the potential hazards increase when you don’t know the lay of the land.
In order to avoid a crash, always do the following:
- Always wear a seat belt, and put children and babies in appropriate car seats. Even if the laws of the country you are in do not require these safety precautions, they could save your life and the lives of your loved ones.
- Brush up on the driving laws and traffic patterns before you drive somewhere you aren’t familiar with. Learn the appropriate signals, know where you plan to go, and ask locals for tips or directions when necessary.
- Do not get into an overcrowded bus or van. While most of the tours in foreign countries are held in these vehicles, they can be dreadfully unsafe. Either because they are overweight capacity or they are top-heavy from improperly loaded luggage, these vehicles are not worth the risk.
- Some foreign countries use motorcycles or motorized scooters as a staple in transportation, but these vehicles are more dangerous than cars and should be avoided. If you must ride either a motorcycle or scooter, be sure to wear a helmet and close-toed shoes.
- In many cases, the fatalities of travelers is owed mostly to the lack of proper healthcare or inability to reach a medical facility quickly enough to address the fatal injuries. For this reason, always know where medical facilities are, and how to get to them. Carry information on you about your medical information, especially your blood type and any medical allergies.
- Never drink and drive. Under no circumstances should you ever operate a motor vehicle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Even if the laws of that country allow it, it is extremely dangerous.
- Stick to marked taxis that have working seat belts. You should never get into an unmarked car that fails to announce itself as a driving service, and should not get into any vehicle that does not have all required safety features.
- Be a cautious pedestrian. Walking by roadways with patterns or signals you are not familiar with can pose a tremendous danger if you aren’t careful. If you can, don’t walk near the street, or, if you must, be very cautious and stay in designated pedestrian areas.
Car accidents always carry the looming possibility of dangerous, even fatal consequences, but taking these safety precautions can help keep you out of harm’s way. However, no matter what we do, sometimes accidents do happen. If you or a loved one is in a car accident due to the fault of another person while are traveling, you may have a case.
For more road safety trips while travelling, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Contact Holladay Law Firm, PLLC today to discuss your situation.