Get a car with functioning seat belts and air bags, and make sure the brakes, lights, and windshield wipers work.
And know the local driving customs:
- “A stop sign is meaningless, or speed limits are meaningless in some countries,” Ms. Sobel said. “If you assume it is safe for people to cross certain streets in some areas of Egypt and Kenya, you are making a potentially fatal mistake.”
Ms. Sobel and others advise against driving at night. They also note that headlights are often turned off to save batteries — a false economy since the battery would not drain with the engine running properly — in many countries, particularly in rural areas.