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Transportation Safety

Driving conditions, laws, customs, and etiquette vary from country to country. Traffic related accidents are the leading cause of student injuries and deaths while abroad. Be familiar with your country/countries driving rules and pedestrian rights. Heed the advice of the on-site staff and obey all local pedestrian laws. The Association for Safe International Road Travel (ASIRT) can be a good resource in your preparation.

IPS recommends that you do not drive at any time while you are abroad. Traffic laws in other countries can vary significantly from what you are used to, and ignorance of local traffic regulations in your host country could lead to accidents and/or fines. It is usually best to use public transportation while you are abroad. However, be sure to check with your on-site coordinator about the safety of different kinds of public transportation in your host city. 

It is also best to become familiar with the rules for all forms of transportation, such as trains, metro, taxis, buses, personal bikes/tut-tuts/carriages/rickshaws. SOme countries like Japan, have strict bicycle laws and require registration for you to ride. 
  • Learn the "right of way" culture for your host location.
  • Only use taxis that are clearly identified with official markings. Beware of unmarked cabs and specialty cabs that charge premium prices. 
  • Do NOT sit in the front seat of a taxi when traveling by yourself. 
  • Do NOT hitchhike in any country even if your local peers suggest it is safe. Hitchhiking can put you in various dangerous or uncomfortable situations.