Road deaths in EU at record low19/03/2013 - 11:59:24
Road deaths across Europe fell last year to the lowest level since records began.
The latest figures were hailed today as a landmark on the way to reaching a target of halving road deaths by 2020 compared with 2010.
The number of road deaths still varies greatly across the EU from 26 fatalities per million inhabitants in Malta, 28 in the UK, 36 in Ireland, and to 73 per million in Belgium, 93 in Poland and 100 in Lithuania.
The Commission says that, after disappointing figures of 2011, when progress in cutting road deaths fell to 2%, an EU average reduction in fatalities of 9% in 2012 – 12% in both the UK and Ireland – means that member states are back on track towards the goal of halving road deaths between 2010 and 2020.
But reaching it will still require an average further 7% reduction.
Today’s road safety report from the Commission says the most worrying feature was a big increase in the number of fatalities among “vulnerable” road users - pedestrians, motorcyclists and the elderly in 2011, despite an overall reduction - albeit small – of fatalities in that year.
But data for 2012 shows a substantial decrease, along with better figures on road deaths.
It is estimated that for every death on Europe’s roads there are 10 serious injuries and 40 more slightly injured.
Current estimates indicate:
* About 250 000 people are seriously injured in road accidents in the EU annually, compared to the 28,000 road fatalities in 2012;
* While the number of road deaths decreased by 43% during the last decade, the number of seriously injured people decreased by only 36%;
* The most commons serious road injuries are head and brain injuries, followed by injuries to the legs and spine;
* Serious road traffic injuries more often occur in urban areas than on rural roads.
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