Driving abroad – how dangerous is it?

Is taking your own car abroad really dangerous, and what kind of risks may you encounter?

This depends on your destination. If you plan a pleasure cruise across the Alps to a Spanish retreat, then there is genuinely very little to fear.

You need to pack the right, legally compliant safety equipment, take extra care and precautions if you’re unaccustomed to driving on a different side. Also, respect and learn how local drivers may differ from those you are used to.

Of course, if you are planning to drive in South America or Africa, or through nation states where political systems are less than stable, then danger is an entirely different proposition.

Sites like http://www.driverabroad.com/ offer a host of information to drivers who feel the compulsion to drive themselves across areas further off the beaten track.

Driver Abroad rates the danger of various countries. It places Eritrea, the Cook Islands, Egypt and Libya as the top four most dangerous countries to drive in by road deaths, using WHO global statistics from 2009.

However, it’s tough to really know. www.safetravel.co.uk comes up with an entirely different list of dangerous places to drive, and places Belgium, the Czech Republic, the US and Greece as the four most dangerous countries, respectively.

Their list was compiled by the Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD), and differs markedly from Driver Abroad’s top 10.

All this makes for confusing reading. Ultimately driving in any country holds a degree of risk. Individuals will have to judge how dangerous they feel driving in a given destination, based on their confidence levels, experience and familiarity with roads and customs.

http://www.aboutdrivingabroad.co.uk offers advice tailored to specific countries, for example South Africa or Poland. Realistically researching your destination in this way is the best way to determine whether you personally ought to be driving there or not.

‘Poland also has some of the worst roads, largest number of low skill drivers and high number of car thefts in Europe.’ the site explains. This is just the kind of advice you need to consider before making your mind up.

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