Road safety in Europe
Road safety in Europe encompasses transportation safety among road users in Europe, including automobile accidents, pedestrian or cycling accidents, motorcoach accidents and other incidents occurring within the European Union or within the European region of the World Health Organization (49 countries). Road traffic safety refers to the methods and measures used to prevent road users from being killed or seriously injured.
History and trendsEdit
In 2013, the European Union's rate was 55 while the Commonwealth of Independent States' rate was 166.
In 2017, the EU counted 49 road fatalities per one million inhabitants. In the EU, only two countries, Romania and Bulgaria had a rate greater than 80 deaths per million inhabitants.
The reduction in fatalities was 19% between 2011 and 2017; fatalities were cut by 43% between 2001 and 2010.
The Commissioner of Transport of the EU considers road safety as a key European success story.
Various geographical safety organizationEdit
World Health OrganizationEdit
The World Health Organization issued a European Status Report on road safety.
Ninety per cent of WHO countries have a safety agency operating with their respective transport ministries, except in CIS countries where the topic falls under the interior minister.
From an EU perspectiveEdit
Road safety is based upon the EU principle of subsidiarity: national and local authorities are responsible for most decisions, including enforcement and awareness-raising, while the EU operates a general framework for improved road safety via legislation and recommendations e.g. introducing minimum safety requirements for the Trans-European Transport Networks, and technical requirements for the transport of dangerous goods.
The EU publishes various legal texts regarding road safety.
The European Transport Safety Council is an NGO based in Brussels. It aims to reduce the numbers of deaths and injuries in transport in Europe. The Council reported an increase in fatalities in most European countries in 2015.
The 1968 Vienna convention defines a fatal road accident as an accident in which a person died of their injuries at the scene or within thirty days. This definition has been adopted across most EU countries.
Some countries have applied this definition retrospectively where possible. For instance, until 2004 France counted its killed at six days, but in an effort to enable comparison with neighbor countries a multiplicative coefficient 1.057 was used up to 2004 and 1.069 since 2005 to convert the killed at six days into killed at thirty days, before France adopted the international definition in 2005.
Each year road crashes generate about 120,000 fatalities and 2.4 million injuries in the European region of the World Health Organization. Road traffic injuries are the leading cause of death among adolescents and young adults.
In 2015, the European Commission published a figure for the number of people seriously injured on Europe’s roads: 135 000 people in 2014. To obtain this figure all countries of the EU needed to align on a common standardized medical definition of what constitutes a serious road injury.
In Europe, for every person killed in traffic crashes, many more suffer serious injuries with life-changing consequences.
Serious injuries are more costly to society because of the long-term rehabilitation and healthcare needed. Vulnerable road users, such us pedestrians, cyclists, motorcyclists or elderly road users, are especially concerned.
The level of transport-related air pollution is also a major public health concern in most countries of Europe.
Main road casualties indicatorsEdit
Many differences between countries are linked to demography, development level and population density. According to Siem Oppe of the SWOW a learning behavior appears in the changes in the level of fatalities over time:
- In the poorest countries, there are few trips and less public transport. Motorized road traffic is low and the rate of fatalities by million inhabitants is very low (less than 30).
- Development of car use leads to a sharp increase in traffic and consequently increases accident numbers, and the ratio killed per million inhabitants in less poor countries passes 200.
- On the other hand, the richest countries experience a lot of congestion and have more developed transport and road safety policies. Drivers' behaviour is more cautious, and the ratio killed falls to less than 80 killed per million inhabitants.
(millions vehicles x km)
|Vehicle number per 100 inhabitants||Killed per million
|Killed per billion km driven|
|Total partial EU (20 countries)||3,809||467.8||122.8||269,158||4,631,781||3,451,938||59.7||88.5||11.6|
Source IRTAD for those data :
automobile Count: 2005 except Ireland 2003 ; Luxembourg 2004 ; Slovakia 2002.
Network length : 2005 except Hungary and Luxembourg 2004 ; Germany and Denmark 2003 ; Slovakia 2002 ; Iceland 2000 ; Ireland 2001 ; Netherlands 1999 ; Greece and United Kingdom 1998 ; Portugal 1993 ; Italy 1992.
Kilometres : 2005 except Denmark 2004 ; Italy and Netherlands 2003 ; Ireland 2001 ; Iceland and Slovakia 2000 ; Greece and United Kingdom 1998.
Population : source IRTAD except Ireland, Luxembourg, Slovakia, Sweden, Iceland and Norway : source INED. United Nations and World Bank
|Mortality within EU, per million inhabitants in 2013|
Nationals means do not show local variations, so in 2015, NUTS regions with the lower fatality ratio per million inhabitants, are Stockholm (6), Vienna (7), Hamburg and Oslo (11), Berlin (14) and East Sweden (15). The same year, other regions have a worst fatality ratio such as Luxembourg province of Belgium (210) and Kastamonu in Turkey (192).
Mortality in UK is rather reduced compared with the EU.
|EU mortality by state per million inhabitant in 2013|
Transportation mode effectEdit
Car drivers and their passengers formed the greatest proportion of road fatalities in 2013 at 45%, followed by pedestrians at 22%. These vary considerably between nations with high levels of fatalities for motorcycles where their use is more common, linked to the climate of Mediterranean countries.
In the world and within the European Union (28 members), mortality depends upon modal transportation:
Transport safety (modal comparison)Edit
|Transport mode||Traveller fatalities
per 100 million passenger-kilomètres
|Bus & coaches||0,08||0,07|
|Air (civil aviation)||0,08||0,035|
|Transport mode||Traveller fatalities
per 100 million passenger-hours
|Air (civil aviation)||36,5||16|
|Bus & coach||2||2|
- pdf: Période 1999 dans l'Union européenne, European Transport Safety Council
- pdf: Période 2001/2002, European Transport Safety Council
Rating roads for safetyEdit
Since 1999 the EuroRAP initiative has been assessing major roads in Europe with a road protection score. This results in a star rating for roads based on how well its design would protect car occupants from being severely injured or killed if a head-on, run-off, or intersection accident occurs, with four stars representing a road with the best survivability features. The scheme states it has highlighted thousands of road sections across Europe where road-users are routinely maimed and killed for want of safety features, sometimes for little more than the cost of safety fencing or the paint required to improve road markings.
There are plans to extend the measurements to rate the probability of an accident for the road. These ratings are being used to inform planning and authorities' targets. For example, in Britain two-thirds of all road deaths in Britain happen on rural roads, which score badly when compared with the high-quality motorway network; single carriageways claim 80% of rural deaths and serious injuries, while 40% of rural car occupant casualties are in cars that hit roadside objects, such as trees. Improvements in driver training and safety features for rural roads are hoped to reduce this statistic.
The number of designated traffic officers in the UK fell from 15-20% of police force strength in 1966 to seven per cent of force strength in 1998, and between 1999 and 2004 by 21%. It is an item of debate whether the reduction in traffic accidents per 100 million miles driven over this time has been due to robotic enforcement.
The European Union has some legal texts regarding Driving License, Enforcement in the field of road safety, Alcohol, Drugs and Medicine, Professional Drivers - Training, Professional Drivers - Working Conditions, Professional Drivers - Tachograph, Professional Drivers - Check of the working Conditions, Third Countries Driver Attestation, Vehicles - type approval, Vehicle - Registration, Vehicle - Technical Control, Vehicle - Front Protection of Vulnerable Users, Vehicle - Safety Belts and other Restraints Systems of Vulnerable Users, Vehicle - Tyres, Vehicle - Daytime Running Lights, Vehicle - Blind Spot Mirrors, Vehicle - Conspicuity, Vehicle - Speed limitation Devices, Vehicle - Weights and Dimensions, Transport of Dangerous Goods - Weights and Dimensions, Road Infrastructure, Emergency Calls, Accident Data Collection, and Unit of Measurement.[clarification needed]
National (local) lawsEdit
European countries usually have improvable[clarification needed] laws regarding speed control, drunk driving, helmets, seat belts and child car restraints. Most countries have laws regarding one or another concern, but less than a third of countries have laws and control for each of them.
Compared mortality in UK NUTS 1 regions.
|Mortality in UK NUTS 1 regions 2015|
In Europe, expenditure for traffic safety is far less than the costs of road traffic injuries.
The goal of the project European Day Without A Road Death (Project EDWARD) is that nobody dies on the roads of Europe on Wednesday 19 September 2018.
- "European Commission - PRESS RELEASES - Press release - 2016 road safety statistics: What is behind the figures?". europa.eu.
- SÉCURITÉ ROUTIÈRE: Quelle est la situation dans votre pays? ec.europa.eu/transport/road_safety/pdf/statistics/dacota/scoreboard_2015_en.pdf D'après des données CARE/Eurostat
- Base de donénes IRTAD_CASUAL_BY_AGE stats.oecd.org/Index.aspx?DataSetCode=IRTAD_CASUAL_BY_AGE
- "EU Road safety policy - Mobility and transport - European Commission". Mobility and transport.
- Axelrod 2006, p. 167.
- SemiColonWeb. "Commission publishes first official serious injury figures as 275 MEPs back EU target - ETSC". etsc.eu.
- "Road accident fatalities - statistics by type of vehicle". eurostat. Retrieved 19 September 2017.
- "Road accident fatalities by category of vehicles, EU-28, 2013". eurostat. Retrieved 19 September 2017.
- "Global status report on road safety 2015". World Health Organization.
- "Star rating roads for safety: UK trials 2006-07". EuroRAP. 3 December 2007. Archived from the original on 14 December 2007. (Note: see country maps here [dead link])
- John Dawson, John. "Chairman's Message".
- "Star rating roads for safety, UK trials 2006-07" (PDF). TRL, EuroRAP & ADAC. December 2007. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2008-02-27.
- "Section 21, traffic officer numbers reduction in the UK" (PDF). Retrieved 9 April 2012.
- "page 147 Transport statistics 2009 edition" (PDF). Dft.gov.uk. 31 March 2012. Archived from the original (PDF) on 29 April 2011. Retrieved 9 April 2012.