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Travellers' questions that don't fit anywhere else This is an opportunity to ask any question, and post any notice you wish that doesn't fit into one of the other sections.
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  #1  
Old 27 Dec 2011
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Overland stats/risk assessment

Does anyone know if there has been any effort to comprehensively collect stats on overland moto, or RTW riders?

I was pondering the quandary of travel in west africa at the moment, with the threat of kidnapping and violence in general. This guy ran down the numbers to put travel in west africa in context even with the current troubles:

Travel in the Sahel: how safe are tourists in Northwest Africa? | The Rough Guide to West Africa

People (family, non-travelers) are constantly saying how crazy and dangerous this thing is, but my feeling has always been that if proper precautions are taken then the risks are not terribly high. Overlanders are more likely, IMO to have problems with accidents or health related than kidnap/violence. But because those are "high consequence" events that make international news, they get focus because of the fears.

I don't know if Grant reads these, or whether he has thought on doing something like this on the HUBB, but a survey on what problems people had, and where, might result in a truly useful tool for risk assessment.

Charlie
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Old 27 Dec 2011
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The risks changes fast and information gets old.
Combined with this and the fact that few travelers are overlanders I think it's a very hard job to make a risk assessment. It would probably be wrong and outdated before it's written.

So personally I don't see the point, unless if you mess with the numbers just to have something to show the people who are worried.
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  #3  
Old 27 Dec 2011
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Stats

Yes, if it was just for a specific region or area the data can become perishable if not maintained. Chris Scott's sahara overland has a great country by country summary for most of what we NEED to know, along with info about the risks. The HUBB and Chris Scott's stuff are frequently cited because they are usually the freshest information. To widen the net statistically, NGO workers tend to go through the same shit holes we do, and probably in greater numbers.

In aggregate, for all riders, it would be useful because it would inform the probability of a particular event, just like they do in the insurance industry with actuarial analysis. The survey could just ask if anything bad happened on your trip, and if it did, in hindsight, do you think there was any risky choices you would now make different. For example, there is a particular road in Guatemala where lots of overlanders have been robbed, even one was shot. I narrowly escaped a similar fate through sheer luck, but if I had done my research, these experiences are clearly documented on advrider.

Not to take the fun out of it, because there is a certain amount of hubris and "damn the torpedos, full steam ahead" that is required to overland. A good deal of the things I have been told are dangerous or risky turn out to be complete bullshit in the end in my experience. I would still like to know, and to know if the information is just rumor or based in fact, and would be happy to contribute my experience. This is not just for risks, but more prosaic question like visas stuff, petrol, insurance, food, water, accomodations, etc might be good to compile rather than have to do google search and parse through all the answers. Then there are things like which bike (and if any probs, which probs), what gear, budget, carnet, etc that might be valuable information to have compiled rather than random. I don't know about anybody else, but I spend an inordinate amount of time trying to come up with the right answers for this stuff.
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Old 29 Dec 2011
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somehow related

Here's my 0.02$ contribution to this exchange which is of interest to me. I have recently found an article published in the Journal of the Royal Society of Medecine, a bit old but nonetheless quite descriptive of the types of hazards and preventive measures needed and sometimes put in practice. For sure gun shots, violent acts, road accidents and other source of distress are real threats, but they are not the only ones. I have put this article on my iDisk in .pdf for those who would like to read more on the topic, and make it available for 30 days. Note there has to be copyright / authors and/or editors restrictions on sharing that shall by all means be respected, please do.

Link has now expired, please PM me for additional info. /C (Edited Feb 2012).

Last edited by Squire; 26 Feb 2012 at 13:27.
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  #5  
Old 22 Jan 2012
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Squire - thanks for that study - great stuff!
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