10 Interesting Travel Safety Statistics

In 2015, we published an article on travel safety statistics, given this has been our most viewed page, we have updated some of these 10 potentially interesting statistics. All figures have been taken from government or well-respected sources and referenced at the bottom.

1. Estimated 74-80% of deaths abroad are from natural causes (mostly heart problems); 18-24% from accidents (mostly road accidents) and only 2% from infectious diseases.

2. Causes of US Non-Natural deaths abroad yearly average 2012-2019: 27% Vehicle Related; 19% Homicide; 12% Suicide; 13% Drowning;14% Other Accident; 7% Undetermined; 3% Air Accident; 2% Terrorist Action 2% Drug Related and 1% Maritime. Av deaths per year 808. Since 2012, death rates have consistently dropped by around 8% YoY whilst travel numbers have consistently increased by the same amount suggesting the risk of a non-natural death abroad is less for a US citizen as time goes on.

3. Causes of US Non-Natural deaths abroad 2020: 25.3% Vehicle Related; 19.5% Homicide; 9.3% Suicide; 10.5% Drowning 18% Other Accident;11.8%. Undetermined; 2.5% Air Accident; 0.3%Terrorist Action; 1.8% Drug Related and 1.3% Maritime. 400 deaths in total. Terrorism accounted for 1 death which was in Reading, United Kingdom (down the road from beTravelwise’s offices).

4. In the US, 2020 saw travel decreased by 66% but interestingly deaths from non-natural causes by only 33%. Travel to Mexico and Canada fell by approximately 57% whereas to the rest of the world it fell by more than 79%.

5. Of the people who have travel insurance (business and leisure), only 3% make claims (2012). Of the claims made (cost): 56% Medical Expenses; 34% Cancellations; 5% Baggage & Money and 5% other undefined.

6. “Men are 8% less likely than women to take out insurance (leisure travel).” Does this mean women business travellers are more compliant/ prepared?

7. Top 4 countries where UK passports are lost and stolen (2014/2015): Spain (6329); USA (3,641); Australia (3,182); France (2,100); China (incl HK) and South Africa made it onto the list for the first time and immediately went into 5 & 6th place.

8. Travellers’ diarrhoea (TD) is the most predictable travel-related illness. Incident rates range from 30% to 70% of travellers, depending on the destination and season of travel. TD is the most likely reason a business trip will be disrupted but education can help prevent it.

9. The top 5 cities for homicide in 2020 (per 100,000 inhabitants): Los Cabos, Mexico (111); Caracas, Venezuela (111); Acapulco, Mexico (107); Natal, Brazil (102); Tijuana, Mexico (84).

10. The top 5 countries for road fatalities (Death Rate Per 100,000) Zimbabwe (61) Liberia (52) Malawi (51) Gambia (47) and Togo (46). The US ranking 120th(10) and the UK 179th (2.42).

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1. National Library of Medicine
2. US Department of State 
3. US Department of State
4. National Travel and Tourism Office & US Department of State
5. Association of British Insurers
6. FCO Travel Insurance Facts
7. FCO British Assistance Abroad
8. CDC
9. Statista Research Department
10. World Health Rankings

2nd April 2021