Tuesday, July 14, 2020

5 Tips For Safe Driving in a Foreign Country

When you think of driving abroad, you picture winding mountain roads, beautiful empty highways, and remote villages. But the reality is often much different. Driving in a foreign country can be a daunting experience, particularly when it is your first time. You may have to get used to driving on the opposite side of the road, sitting on the “wrong” side of the car, and dealing with strange new driving laws.

There’s a lot to contend with, but it doesn’t have to be scary. By planning ahead and following these five tips, you won’t have to let your worries ruin your holiday.

Start slowly

Driving on the opposite side can take some time to get used to, so it’s not a good idea to head straight out onto the highway. Take a bit of time to build up your confidence and adapt to your new setting. Try driving around a quiet parking lot to familiarize yourself with the settings and the layout. From there, you can build up to progressively busier roads. Stay in the slow lane until you are comfortable, and don’t stretch yourself unnecessarily. 

Familiarize yourself with the law

Different countries have different rules, regulations, and customs when it comes to driving, so make sure you familiarize yourself with them. Knowing the speed limit is a good start, as well as any essential equipment or documents you need to carry. Click here for a roundup of different driving laws around the world.

Plan your route

An excellent way to reduce your stress levels when driving abroad is to thoroughly plan your route. This takes some of the pressure off as you won’t need to worry about navigation along the way. Researching the route will allow you to prepare for any tolls or difficult junctions on the way, and build in any toilet stops, attractions, and food breaks. Look up the parking availability at your destination to avoid any nasty surprises causing an unpleasant end to your drive.

Drive safely

Drivers in some parts of the world can be more aggressive than others. Depending on the country you are visiting, you might observe a lot more speeding, tailgating, and angry beeping than you are used to. Do your best not to let this distract you, and continue to drive sensibly. Avoid rising to any aggression. If you feel intimidated, move over into the slow lane or pull over until you are confident enough to continue. In the unlikely event that you are pulled over by law enforcement, be honest and straightforward. A speeding ticket can follow you back home. If you feel you have received an unjust traffic ticket for an offense you didn’t commit, you can still fight it. It won’t be as simple as going to GetDismissed and contesting it, so you will likely have to go through the country’s authorities.

Purchase insurance

Although unlikely, there are things that can go wrong when driving in a foreign country. There is a small possibility you could have an accident on unfamiliar roads or have your car stolen by an opportunist thief. You should always ensure you have an adequate insurance policy that covers you for all eventualities.