The most dangerous and most widely overlooked risk when traveling abroad is road safety. This is true not only for those operating or riding as a passenger in a motor vehicle but also for pedestrians. This includes the use of motorcycles and similar vehicles for which statistics for injuries and deaths are significant. Helmets may not always be legally required but they are always advised. Additional considerations are road security, rental vehicles, and knowledge of the varying laws and rules of the road, such as which side of the road one drives on. One must also consider actual road conditions and the possibility that farm animals may also occupy the roadways in less developed countries.
Cornell University encourages all international travelers to consult the U.S. Department of State Travel page on Road Safety Overseas. There is a Road Safety section on each country-specific page as well.
When you rent a passenger vehicle, there are several types of insurance to consider, as detailed in University Policy 3.2 – University Travel. The renter should verify they have the following as part of the rental:
- Collision or Loss Damage Waiver (CDW or LDW). This insurance protects you against damage that may happen to the vehicle you have rented.
- Liability Insurance (LI). This insurance protects you and the University against claims made by third parties for property damage (other vehicles) and/or personal injury.
- Both CDW and LI are included when renting under a University Preferred Supplier Agreement.
Policy for Students
Students traveling internationally on Cornell travel are prohibited from driving any type of motor vehicle, motorcycle, moped, etc., without explicit permission from the instructors, sponsors, advisor, or International Travel Advisory and Response Team (ITART).
Cornell has negotiated special discounted car rental rates. All corporate pricing includes collision and liability insurances as required by Cornell Risk Management and Insurance for all vehicle rentals. The contract is also available for personal use with applicable sales taxes added.