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International Road Safety- Vacation Planning

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susan_harr6 years ago

When planning an international vacation, a car accident may be the last thing on your mind. But for the millions of Americans who travel internationally each year, this is a real risk. According to a USA Today analysis of data from the State Department, about 1,800 healthy Americans were killed in traffic accidents in foreign countries from 2003-2010. The study found that on average, one American traveler dies on a foreign road every 36 hours.

Americans at Risk

There are two risky road situations that Americans travelers face: riding as a passenger in a foreign country or getting behind the wheel of a rented vehicle in a foreign country. Each has its own risks:

Risks for Passengers

  • Unsafe vehicles
  • Unlicensed drivers
  • Haphazardly followed/enforced traffic laws

Risks for Drivers

  • Becoming lost or disoriented
  • Inadequate traffic law information
  • Poorly maintained roads

In addition to the risk of collision- there is also an increased risk that the collision will be deadly. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Americans involved in accidents abroad are more likely to suffer fatal injuries due to lack of available emergency medical care. If emergency care is available, it may take longer and may not be up to U.S. standards. This could require an emergency medical evacuation back to the U.S. which may further delay treatment.

International Accident Statistics

Information below provided by the CDC.

  • Each year, 1.3 million people are killed and 20–50 million are injured in motor vehicle crashes worldwide.
  • 85% of these casualties occur in low- or middle-income countries.
  • 25,000 of the deaths are among tourists.
  • A medical evacuation can cost upward of $100,000.
  • Nearly half of medical evacuations back to the United States are the result of a car crash.
Tips for Avoiding Accidents Abroad
  • Don't drink and drive.
  • Don't ride motorcycles. If you must ride a motorcycle, wear a helmet.
  • Know local traffic laws before you get behind the wheel.
  • Always wear seatbelts and put children in car seats.
  • Ride only in marked taxis that have seatbelts.
  • Avoid overcrowded, overweight, or top-heavy buses or vans.
  • When possible, avoid riding in a car in a developing country at night.
  • Be alert when crossing the street, especially in countries where people drive on the left.
Contact an Experienced Auto Accident Attorney

Thomas J. Henry are available to respond to auto accidents at any hour, day or night. Our lawyers understand that the immediate acquisition, or acquiring, of evidence is paramount to understanding how the accident occurred. Remember, your choice does matter. Contact our offices– we are available 24/7, nights and weekends.


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