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Tourism and traffic: Risks are high for tourists

With spring here and summer around the corner, it's a busy season for tourism. Throughout the year, Knoxville sees tourists looking for a warmer place to visit, beautiful, natural scenery and more.

With tourism comes the risk of collisions, though. People from out of the area, out of the state or even out of the country can cause serious collisions that end up affecting entire communities.

How does tourism affect traffic?

According to one article from 2010, traffic collisions are a leading cause of death for tourists traveling abroad. While not all of these collisions are going to be the fault of tourists, it's more likely for tourists to make mistakes, especially when driving in a nation that may require them to drive on the opposite side of the road or become familiar with new road signs.

For people coming in from out of town, looking at a GPS or driving long hours can lead to traffic accidents. Distractions, drowsiness and general inattention can quickly cause problems on the roadways, leaving tourists and locals injured or worse.

How can tourists be safer in new areas?

Tourists can be safer by making sure they plan out their routes in advance. If changes have to be made, pull over and rework the route or ask a passenger to do so, so the driver isn't distracted.

Touring a new area can mean driving for long periods of time, so remember to take breaks regularly and to get enough sleep. Just sleeping a normal 8-hour night can reduce your risk of a collision.

With these tips, tourists can be safer on the roads and everyone can enjoy the benefits.

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