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Europe’s Road Safety Crisis: 20,000 Lives Lost In 2022

Around 20,600 people died in the European Union in road accidents in 2022, according to Commission figures published on Tuesday 21 February. If this number remains below the pre-Covid-19 figures, the European Union remains far from its objective of less than 11,500 deaths on its roads in 2030.

20,600 people died in an accident on European Union roads in 2022, according to preliminary figures published by the Commission on Tuesday 21 February.

In 2018, the European Union set itself the objective of halving the number of road deaths and serious injuries by 2030. Concretely, the goal is to have no more than 11,400 deaths per year related to road safety by then.

Compared to the 2020 pandemic which had seen a sharp drop in the number of deaths linked to confinements and curfews, the death figures are on the rise but remain below the 22,800 death mark in 2019.

Very Bad Figures in Romania

It is in Romania that there are proportionally the most deaths on the roads in 2022 with a figure of 86 deaths per million inhabitants. Next come Bulgaria (78) and Croatia (71). France is slightly above the European Union average (46) with 49 road deaths per million inhabitants.

On the other hand, two Scandinavian countries, Sweden and Denmark, obtain the best figures with respectively 21 and 26 deaths per million inhabitants.

Although the figures are down overall compared to 2019, the pre-Covid year, progress is very uneven depending on the Member States. Lithuania and Poland show the largest declines, of more than 30%, while Denmark also registers a drop of 23%, the Commission reports in its press release. In countries such as Ireland, Spain, Italy, the Netherlands and Sweden, the number of road deaths has remained stable or even increased over the past three years.

Differences between cities and rural areas
52% of deaths from road accidents occurred in rural areas, against 39% in urban areas and 9% on highways, according to figures released on Tuesday. These deaths mainly concern people in cars (45%). Next come users of two-wheelers (19%), pedestrians (18%) and cyclists (9%).

However, vulnerable road users (pedestrians, cyclists and users of motorized two-wheelers) account for almost 70% of all deaths in cities. In most of these cases, these accidents involve cars or trucks.

This article is originally published on ouest-france.fr

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