EU misses #RoadSafety target but fatalities are on the decline



Europe’s roads are getting safer, but progress remains too slow and there are sharp differences in fatalities across the EU. You are more than three times more likely to die in a road accident in Romania than in Ireland. 

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. 

Fewer people lost their lives on EU roads in 2019, according to preliminary figures published today by the European Commission, with an estimated 22 800 people dying in a road accident last year, almost 7 000 fewer fatalities than in 2010 – a decrease of 23%. 

The Commission estimates that, for every life lost, five more people suffer serious injuries with life-changing consequences (around 120 000 people in 2019). The external cost of road crashes has been estimated to be around 280 billion euros, or around 2% of EU GDP. 

Commissioner for Transport Adina Vălean said: “Our goal is to have no deaths and serious injuries on European roads by 2050. We aim at 50% fewer deaths, and 50% fewer serious injuries by 2030, and we know our target is achievable… disparities among countries remain huge.”

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. 

Four times more deaths in the worst-performing countries  

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. The EU average was 51 deaths per million inhabitants.

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

For the next decade, the EU has set in the EU road safety policy framework 2021-2030 a new 50% reduction target for deaths and, for the first time, also for serious injuries by 2030. The Stockholm Declaration of February 2020 paves the way for further global political commitment for the next decade.

 





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