14 October 2019 ,  —


The Leading Global Killer Often Overlooked in Duty of Care

Every year road crashes kill over 1.35 million people and a staggering 40% of all road deaths globally are work related. On top of this, between 20-50 million people are injured each year. Beyond car crashes, there are also related risks such as car-jacking, shared economy considerations and other personal safety issues. In the new white paper, ‘Risks of the Road for International Travellers; the Leading Global Killer Often Overlooked in Duty of Care’, the International SOS Foundation and the Global Road Safety Partnership highlight this, often overlooked, risk, and some of the mitigation measures that can protect employees.


Laurent Taymans, Regional Medical Director at International SOS comments, “Road crashes today account for a substantial number of deaths and functionally limiting injuries. When we take into account that this could happen to any employee travelling, we see the potential it has for disruption of a company as well as the lives of those involved and the people close to them, professionally and personally. Add to this the emerging risks of the shared economy and we have a powerful cocktail where risk can be unmitigated and much more disruptive for business.’




One of the newly emerging and growing risks of the road are security incidents. These include risks such as car-jacking and robbery and even express kidnapping. This is a serious issue in major urban centres in Central and South America, South Africa, Kenya and Nigeria, and is also increasing in Australia and Saudi Arabia. Ride-hailing has also come into the spotlight, making it essential for organisations to ensure that policies and procedures address this service usage.


David Cliff, CEO of the GRSP, comments, “The burden of road trauma is high, and by paying specific attention to risks while travelling, we can reduce the number of people being killed and injured on the world’s roads. Making sure employees are aware of the changing risks as travel and transport modes evolve and understanding the road safety facts relating to specific destinations are key. For instance, some countries still allow new vehicles with low or very poor safety standards to enter their car fleets. Others have poor road infrastructure, poor legislation or poor road safety enforcement that all adds to the likelihood a serious collision will occur.


The risk of dying or being seriously injured in a traffic crash can be up to ten times greater in some low-income countries as compared with the best performing countries in the world. It is often in these high-risk countries that traffic is expected to increase. Employers and employees must increase their vigilance in understanding specific road safety risks and take practical steps to minimise them.”


The white paper provides broad insight into the high cost of road risk and guidelines to best practice risk mitigation measures, including:

  • Regional statistics on road traffic deaths and example costs to business
  • Roles of employers in mitigating risk and case study.
  • Guidelines to best practice for employers, including advice on setting clear policies, assessing destinations and the needs of individuals, and personal security.
  • Advice to travellers covering top tips on safety and security on public transport, cycling, self-driving, taxi’s and ride-hailing.

Download the white paper here.


Notes to Editors

The Global Road Safety Partnership is a non-profit organization hosted by the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) in Geneva, Switzerland.
Our role is to create and support multi-sector road safety partnerships that are engaged with front-line good practice road safety interventions in countries and communities throughout the world. We play a powerful role in capacity building and training of road safety practitioners, engage actively in advocacy at all levels, provide road safety programme coordination at the global level and are a recognised expert source of road safety knowledge and good practice.


About International SOS Foundation - Ambassadors for Duty of Care

The International SOS Foundation is an independent, non-profit organisation, established in 2011 with registered charity status. The International SOS Foundation commissions and shares research and best practice for a greater understanding and mitigation of risks in areas of Duty of Care for the global workforce. Key topics supported via thought-leadership programmes are: risk management, sustainability, prevention and work health. For more information: www.internationalsosfoundation.org