Did you know that road accidents are the No. 1 cause of death for healthy Americans traveling abroad? According to USA Today’s analysis of State Department data, on average, one American traveler dies on a foreign road every 36 hours.
The U.S. Department of State is working with the World Health Organization (WHO) and other multilateral organizations, with foreign governments, with other U.S. Government agencies, and non-governmental organizations on a number of initiatives to advance international road safety.
May 11, 2011 marks the official launch date of the Decade of Action for Road Safety, which was adopted in the March 2010 UN General Assembly resolution on Global Road Safety. The goal of the Decade of Action is to raise awareness of the impacts of road crashes on public health throughout the world and to promote interventions to reduce road crashes by 50% by the Decade’s end in 2020.
For more information, visit WHO Decade of Action for Road Safety.
For traffic safety and road conditions in India, visit India Country Information on travel.state.gov
As spring break approaches, many students are preparing for a trip abroad. The State Department’s website for students traveling overseas provides useful safety and travel information for parents and students alike: studentsabroad.state.gov.
The majority of students will have safe and enjoyable adventures. However, even on the best-planned trips, things can go wrong. Each year more than 2,500 U.S. citizens are arrested abroad, nearly half of them on narcotics charges, including possession of very small amounts of illegal substances. U.S. citizens have been badly injured or killed in accidents, falls, and other mishaps. Many of these incidents have been linked to alcohol and drug use. Other spring break vacationers have been sexually assaulted or robbed because they found themselves in unfamiliar locales, incapable of protecting themselves because of drug or alcohol use, or because they were victims of a “date rape” drug.
The most common cause of death of U.S. citizens overseas, other than natural causes, is by motor vehicle accident. Students traveling abroad should be aware that standards of safety overseas are different from those in the United States.
We urge all U.S. citizens traveling, studying, or residing abroad to sign up online for our Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP). STEP enrollment makes it possible for the State Department to contact the student traveler in the case of a family emergency in the United States or because of a crisis in a foreign country.
Please see the Department of Homeland Security’s web site www.getyouhome.gov for more information on the requirements for a passport, passport card, or other approved document to reenter the United States after travel abroad.