Although road fatalities are decreasing in the medium term, the European Commission deplores progress that is “too slow”.
According to preliminary figures, 20,600 people died on the roads of the European Union in 2022. A mortality increase of 3% compared to the previous year, but which is however decreasing in the medium term. 2,000 fewer deaths were thus recorded compared to 2019, the year preceding the Covid-19 pandemic.
However, Member States are making uneven progress. Lithuania, Poland and Denmark are seeing the biggest declines. Conversely, the number of road deaths has remained stable or even increased for three years in several countries including France.
While the European average is 46 deaths per million inhabitants, the safest roads are in Sweden (21 deaths per million inhabitants) and Denmark (26 per million). The deadliest are in Romania (86 per million) and Bulgaria (78 per million).
Rural Areas And Vulnerable Users
According to 2021 data, half of road traffic deaths occur in rural areas, while three out of four victims are men. Car occupants (drivers and passengers) account for 45% of all road deaths. This is followed by users of motorized two-wheelers (19%), pedestrians (18%) and cyclists (9%), considered to be “vulnerable users”. But in urban areas, the latter represent nearly 70% of deaths.
While the Commission is delighted with the development of cycling, it nevertheless deplores a “worrying trend” relating to the number of cyclists killed, “particularly due to a persistent lack of quality infrastructure”. In France, for example, the number of bicycle deaths has increased by 30% compared to 2019.
In 2018, the European Union set itself the goal of halving the number of road deaths by 2030. The Commission, which regrets in its press release that progress is “too slow”, plans to present proposals in the coming weeks to improve road safety in Europe.
This article is originally published on touteleurope.eu