Continued Efforts Required to Save Lives
The 2016 road safety statistics released by the European Commission show a drop of 2% in the number of fatalities recorded across the EU last year. 25,500 people lost their lives on EU roads in 2016, 600 fewer than in 2015 and 6,000 fewer than in 2010. A further 135,000 people were seriously injured on the road according to Commission's estimates.
Following two years of stagnation, 2016 marks the return of a positive downwards trend and over the last six years, road fatalities have been cut by 19%. While this pace is encouraging, it may nevertheless be insufficient if the EU is to meet its target of halving road fatalities between 2010 and 2020. This calls for further efforts from all actors and particularly from the national and local authorities, which deliver most of the day-to-day actions, such as enforcement and awareness-raising.
Commissioner for Transport Violeta Bulc said ''Today's statistics are an improvement and something positive to build on. But it's not the figures that worry me the most – it's the lives lost, and the families left behind. Just today we will lose another 70 lives on EU roads and five-times as many will sustain serious injuries! I'm inviting all stakeholders to step up their efforts so we can meet the objective of halving the number of road deaths between 2010 and 2020".
The chances of being killed in a crash vary from a Member State to the other. Although the gap narrows every year, those living in the Member States with the highest fatalities rates are still over three times more likely to be killed on the road than those living in the countries with the lowest rates.
2016 was also the first time the Commission published data on serious road traffic injuries based on a new common definition, from 16 Member States representing 80% of the EU population. Based on this data, the Commission estimates that 135,000 people were seriously injured across the EU. Vulnerable road users, such as pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists accounted for a large proportion of seriously injured people.