Death traps for tourists
Holiday driving can be a deadly nightmare, writes Paul Gover
DRIVING on an overseas holiday can be fatal. More than 25,000 tourists die every year on an overseas trip.
Driving is the No.1 risk on any major trip, according to the FIA Foundation in Europe.
Driving trumps terrorism, plane crashes and infectious disease.
And the numbers will only get worse, almost doubling to 45,000 by 2020 and tripling to 75,000 by 2030 in line with the overall increase in road fatalities, according to research.
Tourists account for 5-10 per cent of road fatalities in some European countries.
The FIA, a federation of motoring organisations and the governing body of world motor sport, warns against a lethal cocktail of killer roads, unsafe vehicles, dangerous driving and disoriented travellers in a new report published on World Tourism Day.
‘‘Road safety must be recognised as a key element of sustainable tourism,’’ FIA Foundation directorgeneral David Ward says.
The report warns that many tourist destinations are rated either medium or high risk for road safety.
The report says tourists expect the highest standards of safety when they step on a plane to travel on holiday.
But once they leave the arrivals lounge, they are left to fend for themselves in an often dangerous environment.
‘‘Unsafe roads, untrained drivers, poorly maintained vehicles often without seat belts — this is the reality of travel in many popular tourist destinations,’’ Ward says.
‘‘ The governments of these countries and the international and local tourism industries can and must do more to protect tourists on the roads.
‘‘By protecting tourists and improving road safety, they will also be improving protection for their own citizens.’’
Danger lurks: thousands of tourists are dying in road accidents throughout the world every year.