Greatest Risk To Americans Abroad: Car Wrecks, Not Terrorism


Road accidents, not terrorism, plane crashes or crime, are the No. 1 killer of healthy Americans traveling abroad, reports USA Today. About 1,820 Americans, almost a third of all Americans who died of non-natural causes while abroad, have been reported killed in road accidents in foreign countries from Jan. 1, 2003, through June 2010. On average, one American traveler dies on a foreign road every 36 hours. Almost 40% of the deaths occurred in Mexico. The second-highest number of road fatalities occurred in Thailand, where relatively few Americans visit. The Dominican Republic, a popular resort destination, ranked No. 3, followed by Germany and Spain.

“Road deaths are the No. 1 risk to tourists – ahead of terrorism, plane crashes and infectious disease,” says a report released last month by Make Roads Safe, a non-profit group working with the United Nations and World Health Organization to promote global road safety. The report says “a lethal cocktail of killer roads, unsafe vehicles, dangerous driving and disoriented travelers” is killing an estimated 25,000 travelers to foreign countries each year.

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