Europe: Number of road deaths drops 17% in 2020, says statistics

The number of road deaths declined substantially by 17 percent from 2019 to 2020, reversing a nearly 20-year trend, according to Eurostat statistics released on May 11.

The overall number of deaths dropped dramatically from 22,755 in 2019 to 18,786 in 2020. Road fatalities in 18 European Union member states were at their lowest levels ever.

Moreover, “With almost 4,000 fewer deaths on EU roads in 2020, compared to 2019, our roads remain the safest in the world,” stated Adina Vălean, European Commissioner for Transport.

European streets are safer. According to the European Commission, much of this decline can be linked to the global slowdown in automobile traffic induced by the COVID-19 epidemic.

Along with this, as per the press statement from the Commission, “lower traffic levels as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak had a demonstrable, albeit unmeasurable, influence on the number of road deaths.”

Road traffic accidents claim the lives of 42 persons per million people in the European Union. This figure is significantly higher in Belgium, with 43 fatalities per million.

Europe has more than three times fewer traffic accidents than the rest of the world, with an average of 180 deaths per million people.

The bulk of road traffic deaths were automobile occupants, according to the data (44 percent ). Pedestrians accounted for 19 percent of the casualties, followed by motorcyclists (16 percent), cyclists (10 percent), and other vehicles (buses, mopeds, and cargo trucks) (11 percent).

Romania has the highest rate of Europeans dying in vehicle accidents, with 85 persons per million dying on average each year.

The number of road traffic deaths was substantially higher in 2010. On the roadways of Europe, 29,576 people were killed. Over the last ten years, there has been a 36 percent decrease in deadly accidents.

Despite the gains, all EU Member States save Greece (54 percent) are falling short of the European Commission’s goal of a 50 percent decrease in road deaths. Vălean said, “We are behind our target for the previous decade, & joint action is required to prevent a return to pre-Covid levels.”

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