We often worry about contaminated water or infectious diseases when traveling abroad, but how many of us really think about road and traffic safety? A study publicized in 2007 by the Journal of Travel Medicine found that traffic accidents are the leading cause of death by injury for U.S. citizens traveling abroad. Many developing countries suffer from a lack of poorly built roads with insufficient signage and lighting. Additionally, laws of the road are often lacking or even non-existent, and when in place are inadequately enforced.
Travelers need to take extra precaution when planning on driving in a foreign country. Visit the Association for Safe International Road Travel for reports on driving in 160 countries. The ASIRT provides information such whether you are better off hiring a driver, taking a train, or even who has the right of way and whether traffic lights are obeyed. Visit www.asirt.org for more information.