A total of 26,000 people were killed in traffic related incidents on European roads in 2015, according to the latest statistics published by the European Commission, 5,500 fewer than in 2010, but “the situation has not improved” compared to 2014.
In addition to those who lost their lives on the roads, the EC estimates that 135,000 people were seriously injured on the roads last year.
“Every person killed or seriously injured is a victim that should have been avoided”, said the European Commissioner for Transport, Violeta Bulc during the presentation of the figures. “Over the past decades we have achieved impressive results in reducing traffic accidents with fatalities, but the current stagnation is alarming. If Europe wants to reach its goal of halving road deaths by 2020, much more needs to be done”.
The average rate of road deaths in the EU in 2015 was 51 deaths per million inhabitants, the same as in the two previous years. This slowdown comes after significant reductions of down 8% in 2012 and 2013, and is mainly, according to the EC, “the greater interaction in cities among users of motorized public roads and which are not protected”. Vulnerable road users (pedestrians, cyclists, etc.) also represent a high percentage of the 135,000 people who, according to the Commission, were injured in traffic accidents.
The number of fatalities from traffic related incidents continued to vary greatly from one country to another, although these differences tend to decrease. Spain is in fifth position with 36 deaths per million inhabitants, identical to the previous year but 32% lower than 2010. The figure in the UK is 29 deaths per million inhabitants and sits in fourth place. Malta is number one with 26 deaths per million, followed by Sweden with 27 and the Netherlands with 28 deaths per million inhabitants.