You are driving your car under a bridge in your new home in the evening when suddenly something bangs against your windscreen. Your instinct tells you to stop and have a look, but the warnings you’ve heard flash through your mind. The thing that damaged your windscreen could be a pendulum hanging from the bridge by a string. Or the one you just drove over was deliberately placed to get you to stop and exit the vehicle – a potential start to a robbery.

As an unprepared, newly arrived expat, you are particularly at risk. The new normal in your new home country is very different from what you are used to in your home country. In many cases, your many years of experience and knowledge from your home country are not helpful, but rather a hindrance. This is because you try to judge the new impressions in your new surroundings on the basis of your previous experiences and information. The results are often wrong.

Not all risks are of a criminal nature. Road accidents are a serious threat worldwide. According to the Global Status Report on Road Safety 2018, around 1.35 million people die each year as a result of road accidents and around 50 million are injured. These figures are rising steadily.

It is crucial to inform yourself about local customs, risks, and differences. Your safety and that of your family depends on how well you adapt and understand what normal means in your new home.

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