Request a Free Consultation

The Most Common Injuries Sustained During Travel and Transportation

Posted on May 8, 2024

Running through an airport to make your boarding time after a TSA line delay, navigating an airport escalator while dragging a wheeled suitcase, boarding trains, catching rideshares, and navigating unfamiliar hotel halls—while we include none of this in our vacation social media posts—it’s all a part of the travel experience.

Unfortunately, even the most meticulously planned travel itinerary quickly derails when a sudden painful injury sends a traveler to the hospital instead of their weekend beach getaway or crucial work conference.

Sadly, travel studies show that an alarming five percent of travelers experience an injury, and as many as 37% experience an illness or an injury during travel.

What Types of Injuries are Common During Travel?

Spending time getting to a destination is rarely the best part of travel, but it’s even worse when it results in a painful injury.

One out of 100 travelers experience an injury serious enough to require hospitalization either during transportation to their destination or while enjoying new vacation activities. Common injuries during travel include the following:

Slips, Trips, and Falls

Slick airport floors, running to catch a flight or train, and using escalators and moving walkways all present significant hazards for travelers while trying to reach their destinations.

Even after arriving at a hotel or resort, slip-and-fall hazards may still ruin a trip. Freshly mopped hotel floors, wet pool areas, and unfamiliar hotel bathrooms are common causes of slip-and-fall accidents while traveling.

Excursion Accidents

Many travelers book special excursions, tours, theme parks, and other adventures while on vacation. Often, this involves unfamiliar activities like ziplining, water skiing, paddle boarding, and parasailing.

Those running these excursions and special activities may not always abide by accepted safety standards, particularly in other countries. The result could be an injury that ruins the vacation and causes significant medical expenses.

Traffic Accidents

Whether it’s a road trip to a new destination or shuttle buses and rideshare vehicles, traveling involves more transportation through traffic than we normally experience at home, placing travelers at a higher risk of a traffic accident.

The most serious travel injuries occur in car accidents while reaching a destination or while traveling between locations in unfamiliar regions.

Violent Assaults

Unfortunately, muggings and sexual assaults are not uncommon when travelers navigate unfamiliar cities. Wrongdoers often target vulnerable travelers for acts of violence and theft. Women travelers are subject to an increased risk of sexual assault while traveling.

Dark hotel hallways, inadequate security in hotels and resorts, using public transportation and rideshares, and drinking in unfamiliar clubs and bars, all place travelers at a greater risk of becoming victims of violence while away from home.

Dehydration, Sunburn, and Heat Stroke

It’s easy to forget to remain properly hydrated and sunscreened during travel. Busy days of vacation activities, spending time outdoors, hiking, enjoying theme parks, and exploring historic sites on foot in the sunshine, all lead to unexpected health impacts ranging from sunburn to dehydration, and dangerous heat stroke.

Food-borne Illnesses

Enjoying new cuisine in faraway places is one of the best aspects of traveling, but it also exposes travelers to an increased risk of contracting food-borne illnesses, particularly when traveling abroad in places that don’t have the same regulatory standards. In addition, gastrointestinal upset can occur when exposed to unfamiliar cooking methods and spices.

Avoid the Risk of Injuries While Traveling

By taking extra precautions to avoid some of the most common risks of travel, you can increase the likelihood of having nothing but joyful memories of vacation travel and successful business travel.

Most injuries are preventable when everyone involved takes reasonable measures to prevent them. While some circumstances are out of your hands while traveling, taking precautions helps to minimize the risks.