Be afraid, be very afraid

On his travels to almost 100 countries, Barry Goldsmith, a creator of tours for General Tours, says he has worried about risks like terrorism, crime and infectious disease. But one trumps all the others.

“It’s traffic accidents,” Mr. Goldsmith said.

Road accidents are “the largest cause of nonnatural death among U.S. citizens overseas,” said Betsy L. Anderson, a senior consular official at the State Department.

Here is the full story.  Some of the lessons are simple: insist on a vehicle with seat belts, sit in the back whenever possible, try to avoid driving or being driven at night, and don’t take too many car trips.  Avoid the "Andean bus plunge."

Comments

I am living in Yemen right now and despite my friends and family's worries, my biggest worry is being involved in a traffic accident. I almost got hit twice today walking to the Chinese embassy. Despite the intriguing model of "emergent" traffic, I am not a big fan. In this case, give me some rules and some enforcement so I can stop fearing for my life! I blog about other, related issues in countries like this as well..

Isaac

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This is dead on; I lived in Kuwait for 8 years and this is by far the most concerning thing; terrorism, murder, theft are truly minimal worries, in fact the last one is far more of a threat here in the states.

Death by automobile? Let's just say I have a heavenly protector, but I've lost friends that way, and some morbid acquaintances of mine used to hang out by a junction to "watch accidents".

I came back to the country after a couple years abroad, and on the way home from the airport I saw someone, on the other side of the highway, stop and reverse a hundred metres or so to catch a turn he missed.

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Yes, Mumbai traffic is scary, but I've only seen a few aaccidents. Definitely keep hands and heads within the vehicle!

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Traffic crashes are the #1 cause of death for Americans through about age 35. This is the case of the obvious waiting to be pointed out. Thanks for pointing it out!!!

I was just in Greece and I bet the risk of getting killed there is a good 10x higher than here.

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Started by a teacher of mine, Association for Safe International Road Travel
www.asirt.org

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Nathan,

But the opposite is true if he decides to drive at some speed, say, 55mph, and then drives at a speed such that his speedometer reads 55.

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"I came back to the country after a couple years abroad, and on the way home from the airport I saw someone, on the other side of the highway, stop and reverse a hundred metres or so to catch a turn he missed."

Yes! One of the guys that almost hit me had already passed me. I was looking the other way when I noticed, just in time BTW, with my peripheral vision that he was backing his way back through the intersection! One other thing that I have noticed, the horn is used so much that it almost ceases to have any meaning. In the US, if someone honks their horn, everyone looks to see what is going on. Here, nobody, including me, notices or cares...

Isaac

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