Following a nearly 20-year trend, the number of road deaths fell sharply by 17% from 2019 to 2020, as per the data published by Eurostat on 11 May.
The total number of fatalities fell sharply from 22,755 in 2019 to just 18,786 in 2020. 18 European Union member states recorded their lowest ever road fatalities.
According to the European Commissioner for Transport Adina Valean, “With over 4,000 fewer deaths on European roads in 2020, compared to 2019, our roads remain the safest in the world.”
The European Commission believes that much of this reduction can be attributed to the global reduction in road traffic caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.
As per the statement released by Commission, “Lower traffic volumes, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, had a clear, though unmeasurable, impact on the number of road fatalities.”
In the EU, an average of 42 people per million inhabitants lose their lives in road traffic accidents. In Belgium, this statistic is slightly higher at 43 deaths per million.
Europe has more than three times fewer road accidents than other countries, with an average of 180 deaths per million inhabitants.
The data revealed that the majority of road traffic fatalities were car occupants (44%). Pedestrians made up 19% of victims, 16% motorcyclists, 10% cyclists, and 11% other vehicles such as buses, mopeds, and goods vehicles.
Europeans are most likely to die in car crashes in Romania, where an average of 85 people per one million inhabitants died each year.
In 2010, the levels of road traffic fatalities were much higher. 29,576 Europeans lost their lives on the roads of Europe. This latest statistic represents a 36% reduction in fatal accidents over the last ten years.