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Driving Tips for Overseas Trips

An international driving permit and an American passport.Traveling overseas can be fun and exciting – especially if you decide to drive yourself to better explore and discover new things. However, a vacation abroad can quickly turn deadly if you do not follow safe driving practices. Here are a few tips to help you make your trip overseas a safe one if you plan to drive:

Get an International Driving Permit

Your U.S. driver’s license will not be recognized in many countries. To be on the safe side, you will need to get an International Driving Permit. You can apply for the permit through AAA or the National Auto Club – the only two agencies authorized by the U.S. Department of State.

Make Sure You Have Insurance

Your auto insurance policy may not cover you if you are traveling overseas. Double check your policy to see if you are covered (and confirm coverage with a representative from your insurance company). If you are not covered, look into getting a supplemental policy for your trip, or find out if the rental car agency offers such policies.

Learn Local Laws

The rules for driving overseas may not be the same as the rules for driving at home. For example, you may not be able to make a right turn on red. There may be special rules for passing. And, of course, you may even be required to drive on the opposite side of the road!

Make sure to educate yourself about these rules ahead of time. Not only could you save yourself from a ticket (or legal action), but you could also save your life by reducing your chances of a serious accident caused by a simple traffic gaffe.

Learn Basic Symbols

Some traffic symbols may be universal, such as red for stop or green for go. But some signs will be written in a language that you may not be able to read – or they may be written in a language that uses characters you cannot understand. For example, could you identify the word “Stop” written in Japanese?

Learn some basic symbols or words for traffic directions in the country to which you are traveling to be sure you recognize the rules for the road when you are out driving.

Use a GPS

When you are trying to read signs written in another language, remember whether it’s OK for you to pass on a single-lane road, and perhaps even keep your orientation as you’re driving on the “wrong” side of the road, you shouldn’t also be trying to read a map to figure out where you’re going. Use a GPS that can clearly identify your route in real time and perhaps even narrate it aloud for you.

Driving in another country can be a fun way to get to know the place better, but it presents many challenges. In order to stay safe, you need to prepare yourself by learning about the local traffic laws and how to read basic signs and symbols. Make sure you have the right driving permit and insurance, and get a good GPS unit. Then enjoy your trip!

North Carolina Car Accident Lawyers

If you are involved in an accident at home or abroad, the North Carolina car accident lawyers at the Law Offices of James Scott Farrin may be able to help you. Call 1-866-900-7078 for a free evaluation of your case.