On Security

The Rules of the Road for Travel Abroad

Scott Stewart
VP of Tactical Analysis, Stratfor
Sep 28, 2017 | 08:00 GMT
For travelers, who often are in strange environments and may be unfamiliar with the streets, conditions, traffic laws and driving customs of the places they visit, the risk of a mishap on the road is especially high.

Traffic accidents are an unfortunate reality for travelers. Even safe, reliable drivers can fall victim to dangerous driving conditions, including other drivers.

(FatCamera/iStock)

Traffic accidents claim far more lives each year than do wars and criminal homicides, though they receive less attention from the media by comparison. In 2010, for example, 1.24 million people died from traffic accidents, compared with 500,000 people killed in military conflicts and homicides combined. And for travelers, who often are in strange environments and may be unfamiliar with the streets, traffic laws and driving customs of the places they visit, the risk of a mishap on the road is especially high. Data tracked by the U.S. Department of State over the past 15 years show that vehicle accidents were responsible for an average 27 percent of the reported deaths of U.S. citizens abroad. Similarly, the incidence of traffic-related deaths among travelers became such a concern for China and the United Kingdom that their governments launched campaigns to raise awareness of road safety and to help their citizens overseas...

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