Motor vehicle crashes are the #1 killer of healthy citizens in foreign countries.
In many places cars, buses, large trucks, rickshaws, bikes, people on foot, and even animals share the same lanes of traffic, increasing the risk for crashes.
Be smart when you are traveling on foot.
• Use sidewalks and marked crosswalks.
• Pay attention to the traffic around you, especially in crowded areas.
• Remember, people on foot do not always have the right of way in other countries.
Choose a safe vehicle.
• Choose official taxis or public transportation, such as trains and buses.
• Ride only in cars that have seatbelts.
• Avoid overcrowded, overloaded, top-heavy buses and minivans.
• Avoid riding on motorcycles or motorbikes, especially motorbike taxis. (Many crashes are caused by inexperienced motorbike drivers.)
• Choose newer vehicles—they may have more safety features, such as airbags, and be more reliable.
• Choose larger vehicles, which may provide more protection in crashes.
Think about the driver.
• Do not drive after drinking alcohol or ride with someone who has been drinking.
• Consider hiring a licensed, trained driver familiar with the area.
• Arrange payment before departing.
Follow basic safety tips.
• Wear a seatbelt at all times.
• Sit in the back seat of cars and taxis.
• When on motorbikes or bicycles, always wear a helmet. (Bring a helmet from home, if needed.)
• Avoid driving at night; street lighting in certain parts of some countries may be poor.
• Do not use a cell phone or text while driving (illegal in many countries).
• Travel during daylight hours only, especially in rural areas.
• If you choose to drive a vehicle, learn the local traffic laws and have the proper paperwork.
• Get any driving permits and insurance you may need. Get an International Driving Permit (IDP). Carry the IDP your home country driver's license at all times.
• Check with your auto insurance policy's international coverage, and get more coverage if needed. Make sure you have liability insurance.
• Avoid using local, unscheduled aircraft.
• If possible, fly on larger planes (more than 30 seats); larger airplanes are more likely to have regular safety inspections.
• Try to schedule flights during daylight hours and in good weather.
Medical Evacuation Insurance
If you are seriously injured, emergency care may not be available or may not meet US standards. Trauma care centers are uncommon outside urban areas. Having medical evacuation insurance can be helpful for these reasons.