Road safety for pedestrians

Holidays are fun for most people. But not everyone is lucky. Every year many British holidaymakers are involved in traffic accidents while crossing the road. Whether it’s because we’re in holiday mode, not familiar with the roads or looking the wrong way for traffic, it’s good to remember that we need to take extra care when crossing.

Road safety

Whether you’re on a city break, self-drive holiday or backpacking, if you or someone you know is involved in a traffic accident and injured, here’s what to do:

  1. Call the police immediately as well as the emergency services if you need medical attention. Be aware that if you ask your hotel to arrange medical treatment for you this may well be with a private hospital and your travel insurance may not cover the cost (see below).
  2. Take the names and contact details of any witnesses to your accident. If you need to report a crime see our guide for details.
  3. Take photos of where the accident occurred and your injuries.
  4. When the police arrive, ask for an interpreter if you don’t speak the local language and need help explaining what happened and making a statement. Keep any documents the police give you.
  5. If you need medical treatment it’s worth remembering that many standard travel insurance policies do not cover private medical treatment if there is a public hospital available locally. If it’s an emergency then the nearest hospital may be best but if it’s a private hospital you may be asked for your passport and credit card details before you receive any treatment.
  6. Contact your travel insurer on its 24 hour emergency number as soon as possible. Your insurer may be able to tell you where the best local medical professionals are and it can also confirm if it will cover your expenses in a private hospital if necessary.
  7. If you are in an EU country or Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway or Switzerland remember to present your European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) in a public hospital as this entitles you to medical treatment on the same basis as if you are a resident of that country. So this could be at either a reduced cost or free.
  8. If you have to pay for medical treatment upfront, make sure you keep all your receipts and a copy of your medical report for your travel insurer. Also keep receipts for any costs you incur as a result of your accident, including expenses or money lost because you have to change your plans.
  9. If you booked your holiday through a tour operator let them know what’s happened. If you’re travelling independently and end up in hospital and need help from the British Embassy contact the local representative.
  10. If the accident was not your fault and you’d like to make a personal injury claim, contact a solicitor who specialises in personal injury claims when you get home.

Road safety checklist