According to the Advanced Drivers of America, approximately 25,000 people are killed worldwide each year in auto accidents while visiting foreign countries. There will be the percentage of tourist accidents that happen because of impaired driving or due to bad road conditions, but many auto accidents involving foreigners occur because of the left-side versus right-side problem.

tourist taxi driver

The Left Versus The Right

National Geographic estimates that only 50 countries in the world drive on the left side of the road, while the rest drive on the right. In this instance, the United States is in the majority. While British drivers drive on the left side of the road, the popular misconception is that all Europeans drive on the left. The truth is that countries such as Spain and France drive on the right, and there is a problem with auto accidents involving foreign drivers in those countries as well.

Driving On The Left

Which countries drive on the left of the road? According to, some of the countries that drive on the left include:

  • Australia
  • Bahamas
  • UK
  • Bermuda
  • Japan
  • New Zealand

These countries also supply a steady stream of tourists who prefer to do their own driving when visiting New York State instead of using a service. The end results can be catastrophic for the foreign drivers, and anyone native to New York State who drives on the right side of the road because it is the law.

What To Consider If You Are In An Auto Accident With A Foreigner In New York

If you are involved in an auto accident with a foreigner who drove on the wrong side of the road, then you need to call an injury attorney immediately. There are several factors at play when you get into an accident with a foreigner who drove on the wrong side of the road. They include:

  • The length of time before the tourist goes back to their home country
  • The insurance issues
  • The potential for a language barrier
  • The culture barrier
  • The complicated matter of bringing a case to court against someone from a foreign country

A good injury attorney will know exactly what to do if you have been in an auto accident with a tourist from a foreign country. If you find yourself in this type of situation, do not hesitate to call on professional legal assistance immediately.

What To Do If You Get In An Accident With A Tourist

The one big factor you have working against you when it comes to an auto accident with a tourist who is driving on the wrong side of the road is time. Unlike getting in an accident with someone who is from New York State, a tourist is going to want to return to their country either based on their original schedule, or as soon as they are able to travel.

There are some immediate steps you should follow within 24 hours of getting into an auto accident in New York State with a tourist who was driving on the wrong side of the road. They are:

  • Take pictures of the accident scene
  • Get all of the contact information from the tourist involved in the accident, including their contact information back home
  • Get as much information as possible off the rental car agreement, including the rental car company name, the
    number to call in case of an accident and the tourist’s contract number
  • Contact a personal injury attorney immediately to get the process started for a claim

When you are involved in an accident with a tourist driving on the wrong side of the road in New York State, the situation can be very different than what you are used to. You need to call an experienced personal injury attorney immediately to make sure that your rights are protected, and that you get the compensation you deserve.