The UK has the second safest roads in Europe – with Sweden the only nation with fewer deaths per million inhabitants. Figures from the European Automobile Manufacturers Association (ACEA) reveal there are 28 deaths per million people in the UK, whereas Sweden records 25 fatalities.
The number of road traffic deaths has fallen significantly across the EU over the past two decades. There were a total of 54,900 fatalities in 2001, a tally that dropped to 25,300 by 2017. The figures confirm that the EU boasts the safest roads in the world. However, data from CARE (EU Road Accidents Database) shows that 70 people die every day on Europe’s roads. Human error is linked to the majority of accidents, with 10-30% of incidents caused by distraction alone.
Emergency braking and driver drowsiness detection systems will become mandatory over the next few years in a bid to further limit the number of avoidable casualties. Other measures include mandatory speed limiters in all vehicles sold in the EU and the UK from 2022, as well as built-in breathalysers which require a clean reading in order to start the car.
The European Commission expects built-in breathalysers and other driver assistance systems to save around 25,000 lives and prevent 140,000 injuries by 2038.
Commissioner Elzbieta Bienkowska said: “Every year, 25,000 people lose their lives on our roads. The vast majority of these accidents are caused by human error.
“We can and must act to change this. With the new advanced safety features that will become mandatory, we can have the same kind of impact as when the safety belts were first introduced.”
Country Deaths per million inhabitants