How to Minimise the Risk of an Accident While Travelling Abroad

August 10, 2019 By smith 0
travel and health blog

There is something uniquely rewarding and fulfilling about broadening your horizons through travelling to new parts of the planet you haven’t been to before and it is probably not your first thought to contemplate what might happen if you suffer an accident while abroad.

However, it pays to develop some strategies to help reduce the prospect of getting into trouble overseas so that you can focus more on enjoying your travels whilst enjoying the comfort of knowing that you have taken some sensible health and safety precautions.

A good starting point would be to have some health insurance cover sorted and you can get EHIC information here. Also, here are some pointers on how to manage risk and improve your chances of enjoying a safe travel experience.

Be aware of the need to protect your personal safety

It should make you take the subject of personal safety abroad seriously when you consider that the World Health Organization (WHO) states that more tourists are killed as a result of accidental injuries or violence than infectious diseases.

Criminals can target people who are clearly travellers rather than locals and the threat of mugging, assault or theft is heightened if you are in that target group.

Stay vigilant at all times and try to keep to well-lit and heavy traffic areas where there are plenty of people around, although crowded areas can present a threat to your belongings if thieves are operating in the area.

Horrible to contemplate as it is, a sexual assault or attack can happen to anyone and it is wise to remain vigilant at all times without it having to spoil your travel experience.

Think about electrical safety

If you have travelled to different parts of the world already you will be fully aware that electrical safety standards can vary greatly between countries.

You should be mindful of this and not make the assumption that you will be afforded the same level of protection that you enjoy in your own home.

Avoid touching sockets and switches that appear damaged or cracked and don’t plug appliances into them if you can avoid doing so as they could cause you to suffer an electric shock or cause an electrical fire if there is a fault.

Make sure you use the right travel adaptor for the region and don’t dismiss any burning smells or buzzing sounds coming from sockets.

Prepare for a fire emergency

It is understandable that you want to enjoy sightseeing more than worrying about a fire in your hotel but it is good practice to familiarize yourself with the safety exit points and evacuation procedures posted on your hotel door.

Knowing what to do and where to go in the event of a fire emergency could be a real lifesaving strategy.

Respect water

Water features heavily as something we all use in pursuit of a recreational fix and the sight of the sea or an inviting swimming pool will tempt you to dive right in.

Unfortunately, accident statistics around the globe show that drowning is one of the biggest causes of death worldwide, according to data compiled by the WHO.

Don’t swim near rocks and ask how dangerous tides and currents are before heading straight into the water. Avoid drinking alcohol if you are going to go swimming and always keep a lookout for warning flags on beaches which are designed to tell you if it is safe to go in the water at that part of the beach.

Know your limits

You will probably want to try some new things to do while you are on holiday and that often means that you might consider trying some sort of adventure activity either on land or sea.

Activities such as scuba diving, skiing, climbing scuba-diving are all popular choices with tourists and there is no reason why you can’t have a safe and enjoyable experience provided you are realistic about your limits.

It is always best to get proper training and it is never a good idea to tell someone you are already trained to do something when you are not, especially an adventure sport where a lack of knowledge and safety training can be a dangerous recipe for disaster.

Stay safe driving around

Motoring abroad has its challenges and whether you are planning on renting a vehicle or using local transportation it is very important to be aware of the potential risks you might face.

Over a million people are killed annually as a result of road traffic accidents and you could be vulnerable if you have not taken some basic and necessary safety steps.

If you are hiring a car it is suggested that you research local driving rules and regulations before you get behind the wheel. In addition, you should be mindful that driver and vehicle standards are not universal so check the condition of the car and be wary of other road users.

There are also dangers you face even if you are not hiring a car and taking a taxi has its potential problems if you don’t take sensible precautions.

Only ride in recognized and marked taxis and always wear the seatbelt provided to protect you during your journey.

Always think about your personal safety and don’t drink excessive amounts of alcohol as this can impair your judgment and leave you vulnerable to being targeted.

Be careful with balconies

You might not think that a balcony in your hotel or apartment could pose a potentially lethal threat but there is an alarming number of travellers who suffer serious injuries in balcony-related incidents every year.

It is best not to use a balcony if you are under the influence of drink or drugs as it could impair your judgment and you could fall if you lean over the railing.

Too many people on a balcony or dangerous behavior are often cited as reasons why people have suffered serious falls and injuries so use balconies with the degree of respect they deserve.

Prepare for your overseas adventure by having the right insurance cover in place and do your research so that you know what to expect and what precautions to take when you are travelling abroad.