In the past year, a total of 20,640 lives were lost in road accidents across the European Union, marking a 4% increase compared to the preceding year, as traffic volumes rebounded following the pandemic.
While it is important to acknowledge that the long-term trajectory reveals a slight decline of -9% when compared to the pre-pandemic year, this reduction is not occurring at a pace sufficient to attain the European Union’s goal of halving the number of road fatalities by the year 2030. Moreover, the progress achieved remains conspicuously disparate among Member States. Notably, Lithuania and Poland reported the most significant reductions, exceeding 30% between 2019 and 2022. Nonetheless, the fatality rate in Poland continues to surpass the European Union average. Conversely, in the last three years, the count of road fatalities in Ireland, Spain, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Slovakia, and Sweden has either remained stagnant or exhibited an upward trend.
The overall ranking of countries based on their fatality rates has exhibited minimal change since the pre-pandemic era, with the safest roads persisting in Sweden (with 22 fatalities per one million inhabitants) and Denmark (26 per million), while Romania (86 per million) and Bulgaria (78 per million) reported the highest fatality rates in 2022. The European Union’s average fatality rate in 2022 stood at 46 road deaths per one million inhabitants.
The data released by the European Commission provides a comprehensive overview of road fatalities for the year 2022, building upon the preliminary information disclosed in February 2023.
Estimates for the Year 2023:
Preliminary statistics for the initial six months of 2023 suggest a slight reduction in road fatalities across the European Union, in contrast to the same period in 2022. Several Member States, including Belgium, France, Slovakia, and Finland, have reported significant declines. Conversely, certain countries, such as Latvia, Lithuania, Portugal, and Sweden, have witnessed substantial increases thus far. Given the inherent monthly fluctuations, making a precise projection for the entire year remains challenging.