Europe is the safest continent you can travel in, which explains why it is also the most popular tourist destination in the world. However, even in tourism paradise things can go wrong. Here's what to consider.
In the opening of The Hidden Europe: What Eastern Europeans Can Teach Us, I praise Finland for its biker-friendly environment (you can download the chapter for free and read it for yourself).
However, while I was right that Finland is wonderful for biker safety, it's the Central/Eastern European countries that are the best overall.
Biking across Europe is fun. I've even recommended biking across El Camino de Santiago in Spain. However, you still might want get insurance for your bike and health insurance too. And buy a really good lock because bike theft is rife.
Hiking and walking safety
I've hiked across America 4 times, so I know what it's like to be pedestrian. I've never had a car in Europe, and I've been to every European country at least once (except Iceland still eludes me). Therefore, I would agree with the map below:
Wearing bright reflective clothing is your best insurance policy when walking around Europe (or anywhere!). Fortunately, sidewalks abound, so things aren't that hard for pedestrians. Just remember that in the UK cars drive on the left side, which means you should always look BOTH sides when crossing a street.
A few cold northern European states do well in this category, but overall Europeans don't drive as badly as the rest of the world.
Insurance is a must if you're driving, but even being a passenger you could use general health and travel insurance. It's a prudent precaution.
Make sure to have a lifejacket when you're going in the big open sea.
This is just an interesting map because I have no idea how http://www.childsafetyeurope.org calculates it, but Central Europe leads the way.
Europe is the safest continent, but it doesn't mean that it's risk free. The good news about all these charts is that it shows that Eastern Europe is about as safe as Western Europe. So consider the other side of Europe!
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