By Doyice Cotten
Foreign tourism is filled with hazards to safety, most important of which are 1) transportation accidents and 2) trip & falls when the tourist is seeing the sights and not looking where they are stepping. This risk is bad enough even when streets and sidewalks are hazard free. This is evidenced by a recent fall in Beijing by my wife, Mary. We were walking down the street and she tripped for no apparent reason, fell, and broke her elbow.
The danger is magnified when safety is not up to American standards. Below (Photos 1-13) are a few photos of hazards we encountered on China streets in high traffic tourist areas. Keep in mind that these aren’t back streets and alleys. They are leading tourist sites and “old towns.”
Most of these photos are self-explanatory. Numbers 14 and 15 show different type trip hazards: almost unnoticeable metal rungs and raised concrete slabs. The bottom line is that you need to watch where you step. . . and these are, for the most part, open and obvious hazards. Also, good luck on your lawsuit in China.
The purpose of this article is not to discourage you from visiting foreign countries. It is to help to be prepared to be safer while there and to provide a few tips on what to do in case of an accident. You should 1) buy trip insurance (and be aware of your personal health insurance coverage in another country), 2) know how to contact your carrier so you can locate an English speaking physician, 3) be sure the doctor takes x-rays, and 4) most importantly, watch your step.
Double-click to enlarge a photo.