One of the best ways to get around when traveling abroad is to rent a car. It sure beats waiting for the bus or spending hundreds of dollars on taxis over the next two weeks. However, driving abroad can come with its share of problems. The rules of the road are a little different (even if the laws are not). You may need to drive on the other side of the road, or there might even be other drivers who are not – exactly – safe. All of these mean you must make sure you are safe while driving abroad, and here is how to do that.
LEARN THE RULES
While many countries have similar driving laws, there are some key differences. For example, Peru requires you to keep your headlights on at all times. Failure to do so will result in a fine at one of the many traffic stops along its highways.
Something so insignificant seems ridiculous, but as you’re in another country, you don’t know why this is the case. Therefore, you’re best off learning the rules before you embark on an adventure to make your trip as smooth and enjoyable as possible, as well as save you plenty of money paying off traffic cops.
KNOW WHO TO CALL IN AN ACCIDENT
Even if you are super cautious while driving, there is the chance that someone might reverse into you. There’s a risk that another driver may not be focusing on the road, and you could pay the price for this. If this is the case, you should know exactly who to call should you be involved in a crash.
The rental company is a definite, but you may also need to get in touch with a car accident lawyer. Picking one who works solely with tourists is preferable, although the availability of such a lawyer will depend on where you are and how far from a major city you crashed.
GET THE RIGHT INSURANCE
Speaking of insurance, you must make sure you invest in the right type of insurance before traveling. This will protect you from a wide range of potential accidents, and even mean you may not need to pay for any damages caused by someone else (or even yourself).
Luckily, most insurance policies will cover overseas driving, but you’ll still want to read through this policy carefully to ensure that it covers every situation you might find yourself in, no matter how far fetched that might be.
DO NOT GET OVERCONFIDENT
You might consider yourself an excellent driver at home, but driving abroad is different. Still, after a few days, it’s easy to be overconfident or even cocky. While confident driving is an excellent trait, it also means you could become careless, which also means there’s a risk you might make a silly (and expensive) mistake.
The lost thing you want on your travels is to end up in an accident, hospital, or even a jail cell. Because of this, it’s vital that you understand precisely what you need to do when driving in another country. Otherwise, there’s a risk that it won’t be the dream vacation you always hoped for.
Photo Credit: BMW