Road traffic accidents are the most common cause of international travelers needing medical assistance after an accident. What can we do to make sure a bad situation is not made worse?
Travel Clinic owner Mary Kedward writes: "Common sense should not be left at home. If something looks dangerous and reckless, leave it alone. Do not, for instance, have a few beers - then decide to hire a moped to explore your fantastic tropical island. Remember also, that you will need to look the other way to normal when checking oncoming traffic in the many countries that drive on the right. Take care on the roads; many countries have slightly different highways codes and driving conditions than the roads here in the UK, and you may be driving unfamiliar vehicles. If you fancy trying some extreme activities, like white water rafting, skydiving or bungee jumping, make sure your Travel Insurance will cover you for this. The last thing you need in the hopefully unlikely event of an accident occurring is to find you have no insurance to pay medical costs incurred.”
She adds, “Many overseas health care facilities will need payment up front for health care costs unless they can invoice your insurance company directly. Make sure you have travel insurance which will cover the all the activities you are planning on doing, and ensure it is sufficient to cover all expenses likely to be incurred - including repatriation if you are unfortunate enough to become unwell or injured. Be aware that some destinations are more expensive to insure than others. If you have pre-existing medical problems, or any changes occur between purchasing your insurance and the day you travel, for example, you find out you are pregnant, or you are being investigated or diagnosed with a medical condition, you must let your insurer know. Many will not cover pregnancy related problems, and costs incurred if you have a very early baby overseas can be huge. Finally, be sure to keep your insurance paperwork handy.”
The Travel Clinic in Cambridge is a private clinic offering independent advice and immunizations to travellers.