The 5 Most Common Travel Accidents (And How To Avoid Them)

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Are you aware of the potential travel accidents that may occur during your next vacation?

There’s nothing quite so pleasant as taking some well-deserved time away from the constant demands of work and daily life by going on a relaxing vacation. Whether you’re planning a weekend getaway to a nearby beach town or traveling halfway across the world to visit a new country, a successful trip can leave you feeling rejuvenated and refreshed.

Wherever your travels happen to take you, we hope you enjoy a safe and enjoyable trip. In this article, we’ll be discussing some common travel-related injuries and how to avoid them, so that you can make the most out of your upcoming trip while staying safe and healthy.

So, read more below and get ready for some travel safety tips!

travel accidents
You might be surprised by where most travel accidents happen. (Hint: It’s not in the sky.)

CONTENTS – In this article, you will find useful and potentially life-saving tips to manage or avoid travel accidents, including:

When & Where Do Injuries Commonly Occur During Vacations?

There’s nothing quite so pleasant as taking some well-deserved time away from the constant demands of work and daily life by going on a relaxing vacation.

Whether you’re planning a weekend getaway to a nearby beach town or traveling halfway across the world to visit a new country, a successful trip can leave you feeling rejuvenated and refreshed.

Wherever your travels happen to take you, we hope you enjoy a safe and enjoyable trip.

Of course, it goes without saying that travel-related accidents may occur unexpectedly. They happen even when you thoroughly prepared for your vacation well in advance.

So, we put together this article to bring awareness to some common travel-related injuries. That way, you can safely enjoy your upcoming travels.

Injuries suffered while traveling can be particularly challenging to deal with. Worse, they often occur suddenly and in inconvenient locations.

As an example, you may suffer a sprained ankle while on a beautiful nature hike that is dozens of miles away from a medical facility. Or, imagine experiencing a bout of food poisoning that leaves you unable to go sightseeing for several days.


Although an accident can occur virtually anywhere, some locations and events are particularly prone to causing harm.

Let’s take a look at what they are.

1. Car Crashes

car crashes - travel accidents
Car Crash Safety

Car crashes occur with unfortunate regularity across the world, particularly on high-traffic roadways around major cities and tourist destinations.

While driving defensively and paying attention to your surroundings reduces your chances of experiencing a collision, there is no way to guarantee that you’ll arrive at your destination without any mishaps.

Some of the most common causes of car crashes when on vacation include:

  • Drivers getting lost in an unfamiliar location
  • Dangerous weather conditions, such as wet or icy roads in the winter
  • The actions of other motorists that are distracted or impaired
  • Defective or poorly maintained roadways
  • Car breakdowns or mechanical failures

If you’re traveling in an area with unfamiliar traffic laws or challenging roads, you may find it beneficial to take a taxi or use a rideshare service to get where you need to go.

Locals will have more experience with the area’s driving conditions. Knowing that can take some stress off your mind and make your trip more relaxing.

You might also opt for local transit options that offer a more affordable means of transportation. This comes in handy if you’re planning multiple lengthy excursions across town.

Related: How To Avoid Road Accidents: Epic Guide To Road Safety

2. Bicycle Accidents

Particularly if you’re visiting a large, scenic city, you may find the idea of a bike tour appealing.

Riding a bicycle can be a great way to get some fresh air and cover ground quickly.

Before you set off, though, it’s important to familiarize yourself with the area. In many places, you’re legally required to obey the same roadway rules as other motor vehicles while on a bicycle.

Following local traffic laws and regulations can help make your actions more predictable. This protects you, other bikers, and drivers sharing the road from bicycle-related travel accidents.

Bicycle accidents can be very dangerous!

So, make sure you understand local traffic laws, plan out your route, and put on a helmet before riding off!

3. Public Transit Accidents

Although they are fortunately more rare than collisions involving passenger cars, public transit crashes do occur and “often result in major injuries for those inside the vehicle.”

Many forms of public transit, such as passenger buses or trains, do not have seatbelts for the vehicle’s occupants. As a result, a bus crash or train derailment can cause passengers to be thrown about the vehicle.

This can easily cause serious or even fatal injuries.

In some cases, other cars, cyclists, or pedestrians may also be involved in the crash. When that happens, it can substantially increase the damage caused by travel accidents.

There is very little that you can do to prevent a public transit accident.

But, if you notice anything unusual during the duration of your ride you should alert the proper authorities immediately.

4. Injuries Due to Physical Activity

travel accidents
Take care to avoid injuries from physical activities while traveling.

Particularly adventurous travelers may be drawn to destinations that offer exciting activities such as jet skiing, skydiving, or ziplining.

While physical activities of this nature are appealing to many travelers, it’s important to thoroughly research the organizations offering the excursion(s) that you’re interested in.

Select a reputable travel company that emphasizes safety and has a protocol in place for any injuries or travel accidents that may occur.

Injuries due to physical activity can really put a damper on your trip!

5. Amusement Park Injuries

travel accidents
Amusement parks have their fair share of mishaps.

You’d likely be surprised at how many annual injuries occur at theme parks! Even the happiest place on Earth has had its fair share of mishaps resulting in serious injuries.

Although the majority of theme park injuries are relatively minor, serious harm can befall the unwary.

Some severe injuries that may occur at theme parks include:

  • Head, neck, or back injuries from being jostled on a ride
  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Whiplash
  • Heat exhaustion or heatstroke
  • Broken or fractured bones
  • Cuts or lacerations from sharp objects
  • Drowning (particularly at water parks)

Common Types of Travel Injuries

Now that we’ve discussed some of the common scenarios that lead to travel-related injuries, we wanted to discuss some of the more frequent wounds that can occur.

Serious travel accidents or a vacation mishap can result in the following types of travel injuries.

Broken Bones

When more pressure is exerted upon a bone than it can bear, a crack or split will occur. A broken bone is always a serious injury that requires immediate, professional medical treatment.

That ensures you will have the best chance at a full recovery.

If you suffer a serious blow and observe pain, swelling, a visibly out-of-place joint, or protruding bone, seek emergency assistance at once.

A broken bone is can be a serious injury.

Brain Injury

A victim may suffer a traumatic brain injury after experiencing a violent blow to the head or body. If not promptly treated, a traumatic brain injury can be fatal.

If you experience signs of a brain injury after experiencing a blow, seek assistance right away. Some symptoms to be aware of include:

  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Slurred speech
  • Sudden fatigue

Don’t overlook these serious symptoms.

Food Poisoning

travel accidents
Drink bottled water when traveling to places without potable water sources.

While you’re on vacation, you’ll surely want to try out the local cuisine. That’s one of the best parts about traveling!

However, many travelers find themselves suffering with an upset stomach – or worse, food poisoning – after consuming contaminated food or water.

When traveling, be sure to research the areas you’ll be exploring so you have an idea of what foods might be best avoided.

If you are unsure whether water is potable, do not drink it. That’s why it’s a good idea to carry a water bottle, avoid ice cubes, and always find out how foods are prepared before taking the risk.


Some vacation destinations may expose you to travel-related illnesses. They range from Malaria to Typhoid fever.

So, be sure you your required vaccinations for your destination are up-to-date, so you reduce your odds of contracting a rare or deadly disease.

Related: 10 Disadvantages of Traveling You Might Want to Think About Today

Final Thoughts on Travel Accidents

When it comes to travel accidents, being informed can help you stay safe.

Remember to research your destination carefully before hopping in the car or booking your flight, so that you’re as prepared as possible to handle any adversity thrown your way.

We hope that this article helps you enjoy carefree travels on your next vacation.

James Bourke

Guest Author Bio: An avid traveler and adventurer, James began writing about travel safety tips and tricks after a particularly eventful backpacking trip across the northern region of Europe. When he’s not enjoying a local hike or editing his latest article, James enjoys spending time with close friends and family.

Jackie Gately at the beach

About Jackie Gately, editor-IN-CHIEF

I'm Jackie Gately, your travel confidante and the creative force behind Enjoy Travel Life, awarded the "Best Casual-Luxury Lifestyle Blog (USA)" in Travel and Tourism by LUXlife Magazine for four consecutive years.

With 25 years of published expertise, I'm a seasoned writer, editor, and photographer curating inspiring travel guides and lifestyle tips for empty nesters. I hope to kindle your spirit of exploration, encouraging you to overcome obstacles and turn your dreams into reality.

Learn to minimize your pre-travel angst and maximize the joy of exploration with insights from my experiences. Let's make every adventure a celebration of this exciting phase of life! 

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