Traffic and Road Safety

  • Driving habits, traffic patterns and road conditions may be very different from those in the U.S. Students should keep in mind that the rate of traffic accidents and fatalities is as much as seven times higher in some countries than it is in the U.S. Even in Europe, the roads are not as safe as in the U.S.

  • Students should exercise extra caution when crossing streets, especially when they first arrive. The pedestrian "right of way" is non-existent in most places outside the U.S., so students should not assume that drivers will watch out for them.

  • In some countries, drivers consider traffic signals to be recommendations, not obligatory—they may not necessarily stop at red lights.

  • Students studying abroad in countries where traffic moves on the left hand side of the street should be especially careful of oncoming traffic when stepping off of the curb.

  • Because of differences in driving conditions, we recommend that students do not drive a car, motorcycle or other vehicle while abroad.

  • Before taking taxis or buses, students should find out which companies are reputable. In some places, it may not be safe to take a taxi alone.