When taking a trip to a foreign country, most people want to get as immersed into this new and exciting culture as they possibly can. As part of this, it can be helpful to see the sights, interact with the people, and really experience how life functions for them.
One great way that many people choose to accomplish these things while traveling is to rent a car and lead the way through their own adventure. However, if you’re not used to driving in this new country, you can open yourself up to risks to your health and safety in the event of some type of car accident.
To help you in mitigating these risks, here are three tips for safer driving when in a foreign country.
Make Sure You Have The Right License Or Permit
Just because you have a driver’s license in your own country doesn’t mean you’ll automatically be allowed to legally drive in any other countries. Oftentimes, you’ll have to apply and receive an International Driving Permit, or IDP, to drive in a foreign country.
To know if you’ll need this type of permit, the U.S. State Department recommends that you contact the embassy of the country you’ll be traveling to. They’ll be able to tell you what type of permit you’ll need to legally drive in that country and help you in obtaining it.
Understand The Signs And Laws
Once you’ve decided that you’ll be driving yourself around in this new country and have figured out the legalities of this arrangement, you should then spend some time learning the laws and signs that you’ll be required to follow when on the road there.
According to WikiTravel.org, many different countries have similar-looking signs that can mean different things. Because of this, it’s wise not to just assume that the laws or signs for this other country will be similar or familiar to you. So before you get into your rental car, make sure you know what the common laws of the road are and what signs you should be on the lookout for.
Learn About The Driving Culture Of The Country
In addition to knowing the rules of the road, you should also try to learn a bit about the culture of the country regarding their attitudes toward driving.
Rita Anya Nara, a contributor to the Huffington Post, shares that many countries, especially ones where the cultures are very different, have very different attitudes toward driving. For example, drivers in some countries have very little regard for pedestrians or animals on the road. In other countries, they might drive at a frantic pace and be very aggressive. If you know these things going into it, you can be better prepared for how to protect yourself and your passengers.
If you’re going to be traveling to a foreign country soon and anticipate that you’ll be driving yourself around while you’re there, consider using the tips mentioned above to help you stay safe on the roads.