International Education Office
Faculty & Staff
Health & Safety
Incoming Exchange Students
At a Congressional hearing on Safety in Study Abroad, it was seated that the major cause of student injury or death in programs abroad is traffic accidents. According to the U.S. State Department, road travel is the greatest risk to healthy Americans abroad. Information is adapted rom the Association for Safe International Road Travel.
- Be aware of local traffic patterns. Understand local road culture.
- Be alert at intersections in countries where traffic pattern differs from yours.
- Be alert of reckless driver behaviors, such as speeding, inattention to driving, disregard for pedestrians, signs, and signals.
- Wear or carry something reflective or carry a light at night, so that motorists' attention will be attracted to you.
- Cross where the lights are bright and visibility is good at night.
- Avoid walking where you cannot be easily seen.
- Remember that the CURB DRILL (look right, look left, right again) must be reversed in countries where the traffic pattern is reversed.
- Walk on the sidewalk where there is one. Where there is none, walk on the road bank or side of the road in single file, facing oncoming traffic.
- Be just as alert and careful when crossing in groups as when alone and do not depend on others to watch out for you.
- Use provisions for crossing, such as a police officer, pedestrian crossing or traffic light. Jaywalking may result in severe fines in some countries.
- Cross where there is a clear view in both directions, when it can be done safely.
- Be alert for train crossing that might not be marked.
- Do not adopt the attitude that because you have the right of way in the pedestrian crossing that you are automatically safe to cross.
- Remember most road fatalities are pedestrians.
- Be aware of traffic patterns and local road culture.
- Be alert of reckless driving, such as speeding, inattention to driving, apparent drowsiness, disregard for signage and signals.
- If a driver is irresponsible, get out at the first safe opportunity.
- Speak up if you feel at risk.
- Avoid riding with drivers who seem to be under influence of alcohol, drugs or medication.
- Avoid night travel, especially in rural areas.
- Calling for a taxi is the safest way to travel, especially at night.
- Take a business card with the phone number of a reputable taxi and phone for the taxi when you need it.
- If you are unsure of which taxi companies are acceptable, inquire at an information desk or with program staff.
- Have a local write your destination for the driver to read.
- Ask the driver the name and destination that has been ordered to verify the driver. Don't get into a taxi that you have not ordered.
- If you must hail a taxi, spot one from a well-known and reliable company.
- Do not accept rides from drivers who randomly approach you.
- Before getting into the taxi, make sure the driver agrees to take you to your destination.
- Ask a trustworthy individual what the fare should be.
- Aask the driver what the fare is before getting into the taxi. Once you sit down, you are the taxi's next fare.
- If the driver tries to bargain instead of using the meter or claims his meter is broken, get out of the taxi.
- When you get into the taxi, note the company name, code number, driver's name, ID and photograph.
- Always sit in the back seat and use a seatbelt.
- Avoid overcrowded taxis.
- Wait for the bus in a safe place, away from the road.
- Avoid overcrowded buses.
- After you get off the bus, take several steps out of the danger zone.
- If you drop something near the bus, tell the driver before you pick it up.