When I got home yesterday and turned on the computer, I was sad but not surprised to read that an accident on a jeep safari in Fethiye had claimed the lives of two British women.
I've written about theses safaris before and I include the posts below. If you are tempted to try this kind of tour when you visit Turkey, please check that the vehicle you are travelling in is equipped with seat belts and is not overcrowded. If you've paid your money and are not happy with the safety aspects and can't get your money back, you can always contact the zabita in local council offices who will take your complaint to the office you bought your ticket from. This usually results in an immediate reimbursement. In fact, just the threat of calling in the zabita is a useful tool against all kinds of shady dealings.
Friday, 14 September 2012
Thank you for all the comments on my last post. You unanimously approve of a plaster giraffe in my garden; now I'll have to sell the idea to my (aesthetically sensitive) husband. Alan's comments on jeep accidents prompted me to check the safety record of these tours. I've found reports of 4 really bad crashes in 4 years. Par for the course I suppose with 3 or 4 groups of jeeps going out every day from each resort, BUT, reading the feedback on forums from customers who have been on these trips, I can only think that Allah is looking after these safari companies. Common practice seems to be to overcrowd the jeeps by 2 or 3 passsengers. The small Suzuki 4x4s which are registered for 5, often have 6 or 7 passengers. Seat belts are either unavailable or not used. I know this is true as the tourists who pass my garden wall are often standing up. Clients are provided with water pistols so when the jeeps race side by side, they can "shoot" the occupants of the passing jeep. A fatal accident in 2008 was attributed to the jeep driver being blinded by water as he overtook a tractor. One accident was caused by the driver jumping out of his seat and running alongside the vehicle, showing off that he could control the jeep as he ran beside. He couldn't - it crashed. If you are still contemplating booking, UK travel insurance doesn't usually cover off-road trips so you should pay for extra cover. My worry has always been the danger of one careless punter throwing a lighted cigarette out of the jeep as it rushes through the forest. A selfish concern I know, but they will be long gone as hectares of pine and olive trees burn to the ground.