Staying Safe While Driving Abroad

Feb 26 • Traveling • 2304 Views • Comments Off on Staying Safe While Driving Abroad

If you and your family are fortunate enough to live part of the year in another country, consider yourself fortunate. For many, this would be a dream. In order to ensure you and your family are safe you must adhere to local laws and acclimate yourself into their regulated ways of living. For example, driving in other countries can be the difference between night and day when comparing the ease of motoring in Canada or America, to your current place of residence. This article will examine some steps that any family living abroad should take in order to secure safe driving practices.

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Insurance
This is a no-brainer when it comes to a starting point. If you plan on using the same insurance provider be sure to get something in writing that states your rights and liability in the event of an incident overseas. If your provider doesn’t offer coverage out of the country then drop them and go with someone else. If you have young children, their safety is, needless to say, your top priority. Therefore, it should also be a major one for your potential insurer to share.

When looking online, find a company that expresses child safety concerns. Currently there is a 21st Century Insurance Contest that is spreading awareness for increased car safety to protect babies and infants. They are even offering a cash prize of 10K to a lucky participant, and are rewarding those who can creatively re-design the classic baby on board sign with a free car seat. Make sure you find a company that shares these values, and that covers you and your loved ones down any traveled path.

Roads Around the World
Driving in certain countries can pose new challenges for newcomers. I lived in England for 10 years, and when taking to the roads for the first time where motorists drive on the left, it was a bit intimidating. But for some reason I adapted quickly and picked it up in no time. Others, however, had problems in gauging the narrower lanes and a friend of mine clipped a mirror off a parked Jaguar along the roadside. If you lack any driving confidence in your new location go online and look for a driving safety class that helps integrate foreign drivers onto their roads and into their traffic rules.

Speed Limits
Depending where you are, you may be shocked to see what the posted speed limits are, and you may feel the urge to ignore them. Remember, the laws exist for a reason. A few years ago I traveled to Bermuda to scuba dive with a friend from college. The posted speed limit there is 35kpm (22mph). At first I thought the Bermudians were nuts, but after enough driving it all started to make sense. For starters, the island is only 21 square miles.
Another thing I noticed is that the roads are very curvy and the lanes are very narrow. You won’t see any SUVs or large sports utility vehicles on the island. Also, one of the biggest moneymakers on the island involves renting scooters to tourists. In an article published by Bermuda Attractions the organization warns that scooter accident are common and are caused primarily by tourists who aren’t used to driving on the left and who aren’t used to narrow lanes with sharp turns. Needless to say all of these considerations make Bermuda a place where a 22mph speed limit is totally justified.

Be Aware and Stay Safe
Make sure you are covered by insurance, you know the laws of the road, and you feel prepared to abide by them in a safe and confident manner. Have fun, and stay safe down your new road of adventure.

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