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Common injuries while traveling

The World Health Organization states that injuries are a leading cause of traveler deaths, but they are also usually preventable with a proper amount of care on the part of travelers and providers. Road and traffic injuries are the top cause of injury and fatalities for travelers, but other common injuries and deaths are related to drowning, air accidents, terrorist activity and drug use. According to WHO statistics, both homicide and suicide are top three causes of death among U.S. travelers throughout the world.

When planning for travel, you can help prevent injuries and death by doing appropriate research and planning ahead. Help prevent injury and death by violent crime by avoiding areas that are dangerous. If you are planning international travel, avoid areas that are in civil or government turmoil.

You can reduce the chance of air or road travel incidents by understanding and following safety guidelines. If you rent a car, make sure all safety elements are working and use appropriate car seats for young children. Know that traffic rules in other countries are very different; if you are not familiar with the traffic rules, choose not to drive yourself in another country.

When traveling in another country, consider using a known tour guide service. Experienced tour guides can help keep you out of dangerous areas and provide advice for handling yourself in a new location.

Even if you are as careful as possible, injury can still happen. When injuries are the fault of another party, you might be able to seek compensation for related expenses. Understanding when and how to seek such compensation lets you plan for a lawsuit, which can become complex if you are dealing with occurrences outside of the country.

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, "Travelers' Health," accessed Sep. 11, 2015

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