European Parliament: EU’s road safety in figures

The EU boasts a pretty good record on road safety, but which countries are the safest? The European Parliament has recently published an infographic containing the latest figures by country, age, gender and more. 

Between 2010 and 2020, the number of road deaths in Europe decreased by 36%. Compared to 2019, when there were 22,800 fatalities, 4,000 fewer people lost their lives on EU roads in 2020. 

Preliminary figures show that 18 EU countries have registered their lowest ever number of fatalities. Sweden still has the safest roads (18 fatalities per one million inhabitants) while Romania reported the highest rate in 2020 (85 fatalities per one million inhabitants). The EU average was 42 per million inhabitants, compared to the world average of more than 180. 

The COVID-19 pandemic has led to less traffic, but its impact on road safety is hard to measure.   

What the EU is doing to improve road safety 

In July 2021, Parliament’s consumer protection committee approved motor insurance rules better protecting road accident victims throughout the EU. The new regulations still need to be approved by a majority of all MEPs, after which EU countries will have two years to implement them. 

In the coming months, MEPs are also expected to vote on a resolution on the EU Road Safety Policy Framework, in which they set out the main steps needed to reach the goal of zero deaths on European roads by 2050. Those include safe speed limits (30km/h in residential areas), zero-tolerance for drink-driving and more safety features in infrastructure and vehicles. This is in reaction to the European Commission’s proposal for an EU road safety policy for 2021-2030. 

On 16 April 2019, MEPs adopted new rules to make 30 advanced safety features mandatory, such as intelligent speed assistance, driver distraction warning and emergency braking system. 

Compulsory safety technologies could help save more than 25,000 lives and avoid at least 140,000 serious injuries by 2038, given that human error is involved in about 95% of all road traffic accidents. 

To make roads safer, the EU also strengthened the rules on the management of infrastructure safety and is working to ensure common rules for self-driving vehicles. 


Source: European Parliament 


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