Tourist Trap: Accident Awareness Tips for World Wanderers


Photo credit: Lasa And Kartaba From Laklouk, Lebanon via photopin (license)

Travellers who are planning on visiting some exotic locations for a holiday, are understandably fearful of the prospect of picking up a tropical disease, but statistics show that the risk of being killed on a foreign road is actually way higher, for example.

Personal injury lawyers Slater and Gordon handle many claims every year and accidents, falls and attacks feature amongst the incidents, which would tend to suggest that the biggest risk to your holiday health, is not something that is preventable by taking a vaccine shot before you go.

Death on the roads

Roads around the world all carry an inherent risk to drivers and passengers, with some startling statistics for road traffic accidents in some countries.

It seems that 90% of all fatalities on the road, occur in what you could classify as low or middle-income countries, with poor resources and infrastructure.

South-East Asia is a notable hotspot, with vehicles in a number of countries in this region, suffering from poor quality brakes, a lack of seat belts as well as a number of other issues. Car collisions and pedestrians being struck by vehicles, are sadly far too often, the cause of death to otherwise healthy travelers, who end up in the wrong place and the wrong time.

Try to familiarise yourself with the local traffic conditions when you visit a new country and aim to be extra vigilant when driving or even when you are a passenger. Recognize the dangers that exist on some foreign roads and try to plan a route or form of transport that gives you the best chance of a safe conveyance.

Enjoy the water safely

You are on holiday and one of the pleasures of a foreign holiday is to be able to relax around a pool or on the beach, taking regular dips in the water.

Although you are there to unwind and enjoy some down time from work, you need to be aware of the fact that you are approximately five times more likely to drown abroad than you are in the UK.

You may also be surprised to learn that according to the Swimming Teachers Association (STA), there is a twelve-fold greater risk of drowning in a swimming pool than drowning in open water. Children under seven are particularly vulnerable according to the STA, and maybe the reason for the greater risk in a swimming pool, is the fact that many of us would perceive the sea to be a more dangerous environment to go swimming in.

The sea is definitely dangerous and perhaps we show it a lot more respect than a swimming pool, but the statistics show that if you want to avoid a water tragedy on holiday, you should show the swimming pool just as much respect, and watch your children continuously while they are around water.

Know your limits

Many of us like to explore new areas when we go abroad, but it seems a number of us end up getting into difficulties when heading into the mountains.

Falls from cliff paths, altitude sickness and a lack of preparation, such as having the right clothes and equipment, can all lead to some serious problems all too quickly.

By all means enjoy a mountain trek and the sights, but make sure you are properly prepared and have the right clothes and supplies to cope with the challenge.

Having a bit of accident awareness doesn’t mean not having fun, but it might help you stay out of trouble.

Dominic Robson is a keen travel writer who has recently landed a job on a cruise ship. When he has free time, and isn’t off exploring new places, he writes travel based articles.

Andy Higgs
Andy Higgs

I know what it's like to go from being a crazy backpacker without a care in the world, via being a vaguely sensible parent to being an adventurer once more. In other words, evolving into a Grown-up Traveller.

Like everyone else, I love to travel, have visited a lot of countries and all that but my big thing is Africa.

I also own and run The Grown-up Travel Company as a travel designer creating personalised African itineraries for experienced adventurers

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