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Preliminary EU road safety figures for 2019 released

Author: Richard Adams
Posted on: Thursday, June 11, 2020 - 21:26

Today saw the release of the preliminary EU road safety figures for 2019. They reveal that Europe’s roads continue to become safer, with fewer people losing their lives on EU roads in 2019 than previous years.

An estimated 22,800 people died in a road crash last year. That is almost 7,000 fewer fatalities than in 2010 and marks a decrease of 23%. This also marks a 2% fall compared with 2018. With an average of 51 road deaths per one million inhabitants, Europe remains by far the safest region in the world for road safety.

Between 2010 and 2018, the pattern of deaths also changed. Whilst it has become safer to drive, vulnerable road users remain at risk. For instance, cyclist deaths on urban roads increased over the last decade.

Commissioner for Transport Adina Vălean said: "No deaths and serious injuries on European roads by 2050. This is our goal. We aim at 50% fewer deaths, and 50% fewer serious injuries by 2030, and we know our target is achievable. The EU has seen a substantial decrease in road fatalities in the past, but stagnating figures in recent years.

“In addition, disparities among countries remain huge. We will reach our goal only through a combination of legislative measures, adequate funding, standards for vehicles and infrastructure, digitalization, and best practices exchange."

The underlying trend remains downward. Eight Member States registered their lowest fatality numbers on record in 2019: Croatia, Finland France, Germany, Greece, Latvia, Luxembourg and Sweden. However, progress has slowed in most countries.

As a result, the EU target of halving the number of road deaths between 2010 and the end of 2020 will not be met. Although it is likely there will be significantly less road fatalities in 2020 following the measures taken to tackle coronavirus, this will not be enough to meet the target.

While Member States' performance in road safety is converging, there are still four times more road deaths in the worst performing country than in the best.

The safest roads were in Sweden (22 deaths/million inhabitants) and Ireland (29/million), while Romania (96/million), Bulgaria (89/million) and Poland (77/million) reported the highest fatality rates in 2019.

Some countries have made enormous progress: Croatia Estonia, Greece, Ireland, Latvia, Lithuania, Portugal, and Spain recorded higher-than-average reductions (between 30 and 40%) of road fatalities.

Read this memo for further details on the road safety statistics and related policy initiatives.

Find the EU road policy framework for 2021-2030 here.

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