03 Oct Travelling and road safety – some helpful tips
We all know the basics of road safety: look both ways before crossing, always wear a seatbelt etc, but what about when you’re on the other side of the world? Technically, the same rules still apply but when the roads are congested, often treacherous and without order it can be difficult to know how to stay safe.
The last thing any backpacker wants is to have their travelling dream cut short and having to deal with the fall out of a crash, injuries and subsequently having to head home – if you’re looking for legal representation after a car accident then check out lilawyer.com – so, we’ve compiled some simple and helpful tips that will help you stay safe whilst on the road and also ensure you enjoy your travels without putting yourself at risk.
Familiarity is your friend
Before you travel, it’s always a good idea to do a little research to make yourself familiar with the local driving/traffic laws. Which side of the road do people drive on? Familiarise yourself with which way to look when you’re crossing the road. Find out about illegal acts such as jaywalking and whether things like licensed cabs are available in your area. Get to know the details of your nearest Embassy, should you need assistance.
When a passenger…
Whether you’re hiring a taxi, getting on the bus or using a tuk-tuk, there are several things you should always look out for to ensure your safety. Does the vehicle have bald tyres? Does it have seat belts? Working brake lights? Is the driver competent or do they look as though they are under the influence of drink or drugs? Is the vehicle full to capacity or dangerously overcrowded? Don’t be tempted by cheap prices or a be pressured into using a particular taxi or form of transport, use your own initiative and make a well informed choice instead, even if that means waiting a little longer for the next ride.
Hiring and using motorbikes/quads/scooters
Check out any travel blogger and you’ll see amazing images of them riding scooters, or motorbikes and enjoying every moment. However, if you’ve never been on a motorcycle or scooter before then it’s recommended that you don’t hire one yourself. If you do hire something, make sure it’s in good working order and that you are given a helmet as standard. Make sure that the brakes work and that you’re familiar with road signs and that you understand local driving customs. Be aware of other drivers, hazards, animals, trucks, rikshaws and high volumes of traffic.
Avoid road travelling at night, the roads may be completely different at night, and you will certainly be more vulnerable then you would be during the day. Never drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
Don’t get lost
We place a lot of trust in technology to help us find our way. But bear in mind that your GPS might not be working for a variety of reasons. Use a map or research the route before you travel.