Why do holidaymakers and travellers choose to drive on the roads or hire vehicles in their host country? For some, it’s simply the experience they want, for others it’s about the convenience of getting from A to B without worrying about public transport or usually it’s just for fun! And while using the roads in a foreign country sounds simple enough, it couldn’t be further from the truth.
Many travellers and holidaymakers have their breaks cut short due to traffic incidents, whether as a driver, passenger or even a pedestrian. It’s a frightening prospect, and while many file for personal injury claims after accidents like these – click the link to find out more about no fault benefits – prevention is better than cure!
Here you’ll find 5 simple road safety tips that anyone who’s planning on travelling will find useful!
Learn the rules of the (local) road
It sounds simple, but you’ll be amazed at how many people simply assume that the rules they drive by at home apply when they’re abroad. Do you know which side of the road you should be driving on? And what are the national speed limits? Or the speed limits in a residential area? Who gets priority at crucial moments? Are there any documents you should always travel with? Do plenty of research before you hit the road. Better safe than sorry!
Take it slow
It’s easy to feel the pressure when there are plenty of other vehicles flying past you at speed. But if this is your first time driving abroad, then don’t be afraid to take it slow and take your time. Getting used to the road and how the locals drive will give you more confidence, you’ll also feel like you’re more in control!
Using public transport
For some, using public transport is one of the best ways to submerse yourself within the culture of your chosen destination, and to feel like a local. However, you should still exercise caution. If you’re getting the bus for example, make sure that it’s not dangerously overcrowded. Is it going where you think it’s going? Does it have working lights? Does the driver seem competent and sober?
Don’t use public transport at night
No matter how confident you are, it’s always advisable not to use public transport at night. As a traveller and a visitor to the country, you will be vulnerable. Your host country or city might seem safe during the day, but at night it could be a different story. Avoid night travel where possible.
Hiring a vehicle
Mopeds, scooters even quad bikes, all these sound like fun and most of the time they’re perfectly fine. However, when hiring a vehicle you should ask yourself if you’re experienced enough to drive it safely. You should always be provided with a helmet – even if the locals don’t wear them – and the vehicle should be in good working order. The brakes, lights, horn and transmission should work without issue. Don’t be pressured into hiring a vehicle at a cheaper rate. You can’t put a price on your own safety.