Road Accidents Top Killer of U.S. Travelers

Travelers may fear terrorism, plane crashes and crime, but the top killer of Americans traveling abroad is road accidents.

According to a USA Today analysis of data from the State Department, about 1,820 healthy Americans were reported killed in road accidents in foreign countries between Jan. 1, 2003 and June 2010. That's nearly a third of all Americans who died of non-natural causes while abroad.

On average, one American traveler dies on a foreign road every 36 hours, the newspaper says.

Of the deaths, almost 40% happened in Mexico. The second highest number of road fatalities occurred in Thailand, followed by the Dominican Republic, Germany and Spain.

The newspaper says Make Roads Safe, a non-profit group promoting global road safety, estimates that worldwide 25,000 travelers to foreign countries are killed in road accidents each year. The group blames a "lethal cocktail of killer roads, unsafe vehicles, dangerous driving and disoriented travelers."

The number of fatalities could increase to 45,000 by 2020 and 75,000 by 2030, as tourist numbers rise, the group warns.

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