Thursday, October 16, 2014

Tip of the Day: Know What To Do in the Event of an Auto Accident If Traveling Abroad

I strongly recommend that all foreign travelers who intend to drive while abroad, apply for an International Driving Permit (IDP) through their national level auto club.

Please don't wait until the last minute, as this process usually takes two to three weeks.

On a global level, according to http://www.asirt.org, below is a list of global roadway data:
  • 1.3 million people die in road crashes each year, on average 3,287 deaths a day;
  • An additional 20-50 million are injured or disabled;
  • More than half of all road traffic deaths occur among young adults ages 15-44;
  • Roadway traffic crashes rank as the 9th leading cause of death; 
  • Roadway crashes are the leading cause of death among young people ages 15-29 and the second leading cause of death worldwide among young people ages 5-14;
  • Each year nearly 400,000 people under 25 die on the world's roads;
  • Over 90% of all road fatalities occur in low and middle-income countries, which have less than half of the world's vehicles;
  • Road crashes cost USD $518 billion globally, costing individual countries from 1-2% of their annual gdp;
  • Roadway crashes cost low and middle-income countries USD $65 billion annually, exceeding the total amount received in developmental assistance; and
  • Unless action is taken, road traffic injuries are predicted to become the fifth leading cause of death by 2030.
If you're unaware of the risks of driving in a foreign country, I strongly suggest that you go to the below link and purchase driving guides for those foreign nations you'll be driving in:

http://www.asirt.org

If you are planning to drive abroad, please ask yourself several critically honest questions?

Do I feel comfortable in driving in a country in which I may or may not understand the language?

If stopped by a police officer for a traffic violation, do I understand the likely outcome?

If driving in a developing country, how will respond if the law enforcement officer solicits a bribe?

Do you know the maximum blood alcohol level in the country in which you're driving?

Does the vehicle I'm driving have full coverage in the event I'm involved in an accident?

When driving in developing countries, remember that:

1. Driving habits and patterns are more aggressive and dangerous than those found in developed countries;

2. Foreigners often are involved in automobile accidents in developing countries because they do not adapt quickly to local driving conditions and because they do not understand the local rules of the road; 

3. Foreigners coming from right-hand-drive (RHD) countries experience a much higher number of accidents when driving in any of the 42 left-hand-drive (LHD) countries;

4. Few developing countries have mandatory inspection of motor vehicles. The result is a greater number of accidents and broken-down vehicles, which are particularly hazardous at night. In many developing countries, you may suddenly encounter a vehicle—often a large truck—broken down in the middle of the road and abandoned with no lights or warning cones;

5. Driving is especially hazardous at night, in general, and should be avoided if possible. Many drivers in developing countries often drive at night with their headlamps off;

6. People, buses, trucks, cars, motorcycles, bicycles, push-carts, rickshaws,  domestic stock and even the occasional camel or elephant may all share the road--each going in a different direction; 

7. Although most countries use international road signs, many do not. This could be unfortunate unless you can speak (and read) the local language; and

8. In addition to the high risk of traffic accidents in developing countries, the risks of auto theft, armed carjacking, kidnapping, and armed robbery are also very high. 

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