Editor's choice
9 Apr 19

EU is not on track to halve road deaths by 2020

First the good news: European roads are among the safest in the world. But there’s also bad news: the EU is not on track to halve the number of road deaths by 2020, a target set last year. More action is needed, says the Commission.

Data released by the EU shows there were around 25,100 fatalities on EU roads in 2018, a 21% decrease compared to 2010 and a 1% drop compared to 2017. In most member states, the number of road deaths was below 60 per million inhabitants.

These are the best pupils in the class:

  • UK: 28 deaths/million inhabitants
  • Denmark: 30 deaths/million inhabitants
  • Ireland: 31 deaths/million inhabitants
  • Sweden: 32 deaths/million inhabitants

Slovenia (-13%), Lithuania (-11%), Bulgaria (-9%), Slovakia and Cyprus (both -8%) improved road safety with a higher than average decrease between 2017 and 2018.

New safety technology

In spite of these positive results, EU member states are not on track to hit the target of halving the number of road deaths by 2020. Consequently, more action is urgently needed, says the Commission.

Earlier this year, the Commission announced plans to mandate a series of new safety technologies in cars sold in Europe in a bid to protect passengers, pedestrians and cyclists.

These new technologies focus mainly on driver behaviour, as 90% of accidents are caused by human error.

The EU also set a series of new rules to improve road safety standardisation across the Union.

It remains to be seen whether these measures will go a long way in getting members states back on track to reach the ambitious 2020 targets.

Image: emergency services responding to an accident on a German motorway.

Authored by: Benjamin Uyttebroeck