2020 EU road death figuresDaniele D'Onofrio
Today, on the occasion of the EU Road Safety Results Conference, the European Commission has published preliminary figures on road fatalities for the year 2020 .
Sadly, an estimated 18.800 people were killed in a road crash in the EU last year. Almost 4.000 less than 2019, but not enough to reach the main target to bring this number down to #VisionZero. Based on these preliminary figures, 18 Member States registered their lowest ever number of road fatalities in 2020. EU-wide, deaths fell by an average of 17% compared to 2019.
Over a longer timeline, the number of deaths on Europe’s roads fell by 36% between 2010 and 2020, below the EU target of 50%.
However, with 42 road deaths per 1 million inhabitants, the EU remains the continent with the safest roads in the world. As a comparison, the world average lies at more than 180.
Lower traffic volumes, as the result of the COVID-19 pandemic, had a clear, though unmeasurable, impact on the number of road fatalities. In this period cycling has experienced a significant rise in popularity and many cities around the world (temporarily) reallocated road space to cyclists and pedestrians. This encouraging development can have a significant positive impact on air quality and climate change, and at the same time creates new road safety challenges.
EU-wide, around 70% of road fatalities in urban areas involve vulnerable road users which includes pedestrians, motorcyclist and cyclists. Tackling road safety in cities is therefore a key area of focus and the EU Commission wants to ensure that road safety is taken into account at all stages of urban mobility planning.