Traffic accidents when travelling

Reading time: 2 min

Every year there are more than a million road deaths around the world. The majority of deaths occur in low- and middle-income countries.  

Traffic accidents are the main cause of death amongst travellers. It is estimated that around 25,000 of the deaths caused by road accidents are tourists.  

It should be remembered that traffic rules are not always applied in all countries and that, in some areas, there may be significant deficits in the quality of roads or other conditions (traffic signals, lighting, pavements, etc.).  

There are often different kinds of vehicles on the same road: motorised vehicles of all kinds, vehicles pulled by animals, bicycles, as well as pedestrians.  

Furthermore, if there is an accident, medical attention may be inadequate due to difficulties in quickly reaching a well-equipped medical centre.   

Travellers must take certain measures to minimise the risk of being a victim, or of being involved in a traffic accident. Both drivers and pedestrians must be well informed and act prudently.  

Car in a circle

Find out about local traffic regulations, vehicle maintenance and the condition of the roads. It is also important to learn about unofficial rules, for example in some places the horn is sounded or lights are flashed before going forward. 

Check the car with a magnifying glass

Before renting a vehicle, you are advised to check the condition of the wheels, seatbelts, spare wheels, lights, brakes, etc.  

Car and glass of alcohol crossed out

Take the usual precautions. Do not drive under the effects of alcohol or other toxic substances, respect speed limits, wear a seatbelt (when available). Furthermore, you are advised to avoid unfamiliar or unlit roads, avoid riding a motorbike and to take care with wandering animals. 


All travellers who are planning to drive a vehicle abroad must take their driving license and international driving permit, and should also have medical insurance that covers the potential damages of an accident.  

The donations that can be done through this webpage are exclusively for the benefit of Hospital Clínic of Barcelona through Fundació Clínic per a la Recerca Biomèdica and not for BBVA Foundation, entity that collaborates with the project of PortalClínic.


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