Take the risk out of driving on foreign roads

Posted Date: 02 July 2014
Driving overseas

Make your seat belt click... wherever you’re travelling!

At home, we naturally use our seatbelts while driving, but when travelling overseas it’s a safety habit that’s easy to forget. After a slew of recent motor accident claims, we’re reminding customers to keep their wits about them and focus on the basics of road safety when driving on foreign roads.

It’s also important to be wary anywhere near traffic congested areas, as several travellers in Southeast Asia have been hit by cars as they were walking alongside the road!

The World Health Organisation’s 2013 report on road safety found that only 28 countries (7% of the world’s population) have comprehensive road safety laws on five key risk factors; drinking and driving, speeding and failing to use motorcycle helmets, seat beats and child restraints.

Craig Morrison, SCTI CEO, says that just because travellers are overseas, it doesn’t mean they should forget about the safety rules from their home country, or throw caution to the wind. “I’m always astonished at travellers who go on holiday and decide to hire a scooter or moped, having never ridden one before. Even experienced riders can fall off if they hit a pot hole or ride on a gravel road – or a dog suddenly runs out – it’s no wonder absolute novices end up with sprains, grazes or worse after dropping the bike.”

At SCTI we receive regular claims for small motor accidents, but two were major ones this year - $167,000 and the other around $40,000 - one in Mexico and one in the US. Thankfully neither were fatal.

Don’t risk an injury ruining a holiday. If you’re renting and driving a bike, car or van - especially if it’s your first time with that type of vehicle - spend some time on lessons before hitting the roads. Also, check your travel insurance policy to make sure you’re covered for that activity – especially two-wheeled. SCTI’s TravelCare policy allows for riding a moped or motorcycle up to 200cc, but you must wear a helmet.

And use your common sense. If you’re in a car – even a taxi – put your seat belt on. We’d rather see a claim for bruised ribs than have to arrange specialist medical care for head injuries or worse...

Medical evacuation and related expenses can sometimes amount to $100,000, or more. To take the stress of large treatment costs away, not to mention any pre-booked activities, accommodation or flights, take care when driving overseas, and make sure you have a policy with Southern Cross Travel Insurance.


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