International Vacation Driving Tips

Every year, more Americans are killed in car accidents abroad than any other travel-related factors like illnesses. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, it is important to drive safely when you’re abroad. After all, there is no vaccine that can prevent an accident.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that as many as 50% of all medical evacuations back to the United States from foreign countries are the result of car accidents.

Car accidents are a major risk for American travellers, because so many travellers choose to drive or ride motorcycles when they are in a foreign country. Very often, people don’t realize that getting around in a foreign country on your own may be independent, fun and exciting, but it does come with its share of danger.

To drive safely in a foreign country, make sure that you always wear seat belts, and make sure that your child is also in a car seat, even if you’re holidaying in a country that doesn’t require all children to be safely strapped in or all motorists to be buckled in.

It’s easy to forget that you’re on vacation when you’re in a foreign land, but it is still important to practice the same kind of safe driving techniques that you would back in the United States. Avoid driving under the influence of alcohol, and if you are in a developing country on holiday, avoid driving at night.

Avoid riding motorcycles in a foreign country. If you must ride one, always wear a helmet.

Be aware of the local traffic laws, when you decide to rent a car.

If you’re using a taxi, only use taxis that have seat belts, and avoid riding in overcrowded buses or vans. These may not follow proper safety precautions.

Douglas Horn is an experienced Missouri car accident lawyer, dedicated to the representation of car accident victims around Missouri.


New Study Finds Higher Crash Risk While Using Hands-Free Sets

For years now, promoters of hands-free technology have claimed that these technologies are much safer than the use of hand-held cell phones for texting or having a conversation while driving.  However, a new study debunks the theory.  According to the study, persons using a hands-free set continue to make higher numbers of driving errors, and these errors increase their risk of being injured or killed in an accident.

The study was conducted by researchers, who registered 26 participants to take part in a driver simulation program.  The participants undertook the simulation program first without any distractions, and another time again when they were using a hands-free set to have a conversation. There was nothing in the conversation that should have increased excitement, and it was a simple conversation on a neutral topic.

The researchers measured the brain activity of the participants while they were put through their paces on the imulator both without distraction, and with distraction from the handset.

They found that there was an increase in brain activity as well as an increase in neuronal activation, while the person was talking on a hands-free set.  In fact, the researchers found that because the neurons were in an activated state, the amount of blood that flows to the brain was inevitably reduced.

They also found that while motorists were using the hand sets, they were prone to making a string of driving errors.  Some of the most serious driving errors included driving at high speeds, changing lanes abruptly and without warning, and making improper lane changes.

As Missouri car accident lawyers, we handle auto accidents caused by cell phone use as “aggravated liability cases”.  Aggravated liability means the conduct of the driver at fault is beyond general negligence.  The reason why distracted driving cases should be handed this way is because drivers should know that using a cell phone while driving involves a significant risk of harm.