U.S. Citizen Unnatural Deaths Around The World

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My fellow Americans, as we know the summer travel season is now well underway:

Screen capture of the U.S. State Department web site.
Screen capture of the U.S. State Department web site.

Turns out Americans die abroad much the same ways as at home. Most non-natural deaths are not a consequence of terrorism or war. Other than in certain places, they are due mostly to accidents and suicides.

At that State Department page, using the drop down menu you may choose a month/year period combination and country. After a click you’ll discover how, and precisely where, Americans there died of non-natural causes between 2002 and 2014. Isn’t our government helpful?

As you may know, I live in the United Kingdom. I’m not macabre, or morbid, but admit to having been mildly intrigued. I did a search for December 2009 through December 2014.

I counted 40 such deaths. (The statistics appear to make no distinction between permanent residence and tourism.) One American was murdered (in Nottingham, on September 1, 2013). The other reported unnatural deaths were due to suicides, automobile accidents, maritime accidents, pedestrian accidents, and “other accidents,” etc.

Road junction in Bath, England. [Photo by me, December 2014.]
Road junction in Bath, England. [Photo by me, December 2014.]

My top travel tip about safety when visiting the U.K. is likely the most obvious one, but is worth repeating…. again and again and again: be extra-vigilant crossing streets.

It takes only a moment of reverting to a lifetime of ingrained U.S. traffic habits for you to end up another tragic statistic. Most of the time you don’t want to step off a curb and reflexively first look left when you should look right. Relatively quiet roads that lack traffic signals and marked pedestrian crossings are possibly the most dangerous of all: those are where you could well most likely go absent-minded for an instant and glance the wrong way…. only to have a vehicle unexpectedly come at you from the opposite direction.

That said, the United Kingdom is a generally safe and friendly place. I love this country. If you visit, you’ll probably enjoy yourself.

And have a good Wednesday, wherever you are in the world. πŸ™‚

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