EC: Romania had the highest road fatality rate in the EU last year
With an average of 93 deaths per 1 million inhabitants, Romania had the highest road fatality rate in the European Union in 2021, according to preliminary figures published on March 28 by the European Commission (EC).
The EU average was 44 road deaths per million inhabitants, and the safest roads were found in Sweden (18 deaths per one million inhabitants).
EU-wide, an estimated 19,800 people were killed in road crashes last year, representing an increase of 1,000 deaths (+5%) compared to 2020. However, the number is almost 13% lower than the pre-pandemic period in 2019, with the largest decreases of more than 20% occurring in Denmark, Belgium, Portugal, Poland and Lithuania.
"As traffic levels return to normality, we must ensure that we don't return to pre-pandemic numbers of deaths on our roads. At the EU level, we will endeavour through financing, legislation and outreach to help deliver the 'safe system' of safer infrastructure, safer vehicles, safer road use and better post-crash care. But this is a shared responsibility with Member States, the industry and road users. Every death and serious injury on our roads is avoidable," Commissioner for Transport Adina Valean said.
According to the same preliminary figures released by the EC, nine Member States (Denmark, Germany, Ireland, Cyprus, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Portugal and Sweden) registered their lowest ever number of road fatalities in 2021.
At the same time, the EC said that 52% of road traffic fatalities occurred on rural roads, versus 40% in urban areas and 8% on motorways. Car occupants (drivers and passengers) accounted for 43% of all road deaths while pedestrians made up 20%, users of powered-two-wheelers (motorbikes and mopeds) 18% and cyclists 10% of total fatalities.
Within urban areas, pedestrians (37%) accounted for the largest share of victims, followed by users of powered two-wheelers - 18% and an increasing number of cyclists - 14%.
The EU has set a 50% reduction target for road deaths – and, for the first time, also serious injuries – by 2030. The last decade saw a fall of 36%.
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