19th Aug 2022

Eastern Europe has deadliest roads, report says

Eastern Europe has the EU's most dangerous roads while the northern member states and Malta have the safest, according to a newly released report.

The report by Eurostat - the European Commission's statistical office – compared 2004 statistics from the member states and found that since 1994 there has been considerable progress in road safety in all countries for which data is available.

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  • The majority of the fatalities occur in accidents outside built-up areas, while motorways have the least accidents (Photo: European Parliament)

However, a west-east divide remains along with a less noticeable north-south gradient.

Latvia, Romania, Lithuania and Slovakia record the highest number of persons killed in road accidents per million registered passenger cars, with 752, 749, 571 and 507 deaths respectively.

Malta, Sweden, the UK, the Netherlands and Germany record the lowest ratios with 61, 117, 121, 126 and 129 deaths per 1 million registered passenger cars respectively.

North-west European urban regions are the safest as regards the number of fatalities in road accidents. In 2004, the German urban region of Bremen emerged as having the lowest fatalities with 23 deaths per million cars, while Berlin, Vienna, Stockholm and Brussels are among the safest capitals in the EU.

The report showed that the regions with more registered cars had lower fatalities in road accidents.

Out of all transport modes, road transport is clearly the most dangerous and the most costly in terms of human lives. According to the Community Road Accident Database (CARE), there were about 1.3 million car accidents in the 25-member bloc in 2004, in which about 1.8 million persons were injured - 285,000 of these seriously.

Of these cases, 43,358 lost their lives, which translates as an average 95 road deaths per million inhabitants in the EU in 2004.

Brussels has already taken measures to cut road fatalities across the bloc. In December last year the European Parliament and the bloc's member states agreed to harmonise driving licenses, stopping license tourism.

The EU executive is also considering making it compulsory across the bloc to have the car light on at all times saying it could reduce deaths by 3 to 5 percent, equivalent to 1,200 to 2,000 fatalities a year across the EU.

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