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European Commission - Press release

Road Safety: new statistics call for fresh efforts to save lives on EU roads

Brussels, 31 March 2016

The 2015 road safety statistics published today by the European Commission confirm that European roads remain the safest in the world despite a recent slowdown in reducing road fatalities.

The 2015 road safety statistics published today by the European Commission confirm that European roads remain the safest in the world despite a recent slowdown in reducing road fatalities. 26, 000 people lost their lives on EU roads last year, 5, 500 fewer than in 2010. There is however no improvement at EU level compared to 2014. In addition, the Commission estimates that 135, 000 people were seriously injured on EU roads. The social cost (rehabilitation, healthcare, material damages, etc.) of road fatalities and injuries is estimated to be of at least €100 billion.

EU Commissioner for Transport Violeta Bulc said "Every death or serious injury is one too many. We have achieved impressive results in reducing road fatalities over the last decades but the current stagnation is alarming. If Europe is to reach its objective of halving road fatalities by 2020, much more needs to be done. I invite Member States to step up efforts in terms of enforcement and campaigning. This may have a cost, but it is nothing compared to the €100 billion social cost of road fatalities and injuries. For its part, the Commission will continue to act where it can bring a clear European added-value. Technology and innovation are increasingly shaping the future of road safety. In the medium to long term, connected and automated driving, for instance, has great potential in helping to avoid crashes, and we are working hard to put the right framework in place."

The average EU fatality rate for 2015 was 51.5 road deaths per 1 million inhabitants, similar to the past two years. This slowdown, which follows a significant reduction of 8% in 2012 and 2013, has several contributing factors, such as a higher interaction between unprotected and motorised road users in our cities. Vulnerable road users (pedestrians, cyclists, etc.) also account for a large proportion of the 135 000 people the Commission estimates[1] were injured. This is the first time the Commission publishes such a figure, as EU Member States have started to report comparable and reliable data on serious road traffic injuries. This is the first step towards a European approach to serious injuries.

The country-specific statistics (see below) reveal that the number of road fatalities still varies greatly across the EU, though this gap is becoming smaller every year. Some traditionally well-performing countries recorded less progress while three of the Member States with the highest number of road deaths improved their road safety situation.

Improving EU road safety

In order to reach the EU strategic target of halving the number of road deaths from 2010 to 2020, additional efforts are needed. Member States are the main actors as most of the day-to-day actions are delivered at national and local level: enforcement of traffic rules, infrastructure development and maintenance but also education and awareness raising campaigns. The European Commission acts where there is a clear EU added-value, for instance through legislation enabling the enforcement of cross-border traffic offences or by setting technical safety standards for infrastructure and vehicles. The Commission actively monitors the situation, stimulates and helps Member States to improve their performance through the exchange of data, knowledge and experience, and by sharing best practices.

Technological breakthroughs in the last decade have greatly improved vehicle safety. The significant advances in innovation and technology have a strong future potential to improve road safety, in particular in the area of vehicle automation and connectivity. To pave the way towards automation and better management of traffic, the Commission aims to develop a master plan on the deployment of cooperative Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS) – a two-way communication between vehicles, with and between road infrastructure – in the second half of 2016. Such systems allow vehicles to warn each other directly (e.g. in case of emergency breaking) or through the infrastructure (e.g. upcoming road works).

For more information

MEMO/16/864

Commission's road safety work and EU road safety statistics

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Annex

Road deaths per million inhabitants - Preliminary country by country statistics for 2015

 

2010

2014

2015

2014 - 2015

2010 - 2015

Belgium

77

65

67

4%

-10%

Bulgaria

105

91

95

4%

-12%

Czech Republic

77

65

70

7%

-8%

Denmark

46

32

30

-8%

-35%

Germany

45

42

43

3%

-5%

Estonia

59

59

50

-15%

-16%

Ireland

47

42

36

-15%

-22%

Greece

112

73

74

2%

-36%

Spain

53

36

36

0%

-32%

France

64

53

54

2%

-13%

Croatia

99

73

82

13%

-18%

Italy

70

56

56

1%

-17%

Cyprus

73

52

66

27%

-5%

Latvia

103

106

94

-11%

-14%

Lithuania

95

91

82

-10%

-19%

Luxembourg

64

64

58

-9%

0%

Hungary

74

63

66

3%

-13%

Malta

36

24

26

10%

-27%

Netherlands

32

28

28

0%

-12%

Austria

66

51

56

10%

-14%

Poland

102

84

77

-8%

-25%

Portugal

80

61

60

-2%

-33%

Romania

117

91

95

4%

-21%

Slovenia

67

52

58

11%

-13%

Slovakia

65

48

51

6%

-22%

Finland

51

42

48

15%

-3%

Sweden

28

28

27

-2%

0%

United Kingdom

30

29

29

-1%

-4%

EU

63

51

51.5

1%

-17%

 

 

 

[1] 2014 data

IP/16/863

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