UK has the second safest roads in Europe behind Sweden


Britain has the second SAFEST roads in Europe behind Sweden based on traffic deaths per population, new data shows

  • There are 28 deaths on the road per million people in Britain each year
  • Only Sweden has fewer, with the ACEA saying there are 25 fatalities
  • The average across EU nations is 49, with eastern Europe having the worst stats
  • Most accidents resulting in fatalities are due to driver distraction, says report
  • Intelligent Speed Assistance speed limiters mandatory in new cars from 2022
  • Volvo has already started fitting speed limiters to its vehicles this year 

Britain has the second safest roads in Europe with only Sweden recording fewer deaths per million inhabitants, new statistics show.

There are 28 deaths a year on the road per million people in Britain, while in Sweden the figure is a slightly smaller 25, according to the European Automobile Manufacturers Association. 

Eastern regions of Europe have the worst fatality rates on the road per million people, with Romania topping the charts with 99 deaths.

Second safest roads in Europe: Only Sweden recorded fewer traffic casualties per million inhabitants in 2017, according to a new report published this month

Second safest roads in Europe: Only Sweden recorded fewer traffic casualties per million inhabitants in 2017, according to a new report published this month

The EU average for road casualties per million inhabitants is 49, which puts the UK way ahead of the curve.

Road deaths have fallen significantly in the last two decades, according to ACEA.

In 2001 there were 54,900 recorded fatalities across the EU and that figure more than halved to just 25,300 in 2017 – an average of 69 casualties per day.

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By continent, it means Europe has the safest of roads in the world. 

Who has the safest roads in Europe? Road deaths per million inhabitants

1. Sweden: 25

2. UK :28

3. Denmark: 30

4. Netherlands: 31

5. Ireland: 33

6. Estonia: 36

=7. Germany 39 

=7. Spain: 39

9. Malta: 41

10. Luxembourg: 42

11. Finland: 43 

12. Austria: 47 

13. Slovenia: 50 

=14. France: 51 

=14. Slovakia: 51 

16. Belgium: 54

17. Czech Republic: 55 

18. Italy: 56 

19. Portugal: 58 

20. Cyprus: 62 

21. Hungary: 64 

22. Lithuania: 67 

23. Greece: 68 

24. Latvia: 70

25. Poland: 75

26. Croatia: 80

27. Bulgaria: 96

28. Romania: 99

Source: ACEA 

The vast majority of road incidents resulting in deaths are linked to human error, the report claims,

It estimates that between 10 and 30 per cent are the result of distraction  – an issue that’s being tackled by law makers and car manufacturers with the requirement for more driver assistance systems becoming mandatory in the coming years.

This includes Intelligent Speed Assistance systems, which will be a must in all new motors from 2022 – though Volvo has already started equipping its vehicles with more intrusive speed limiters restricting its cars to no more than 112mph.

Other required features for new passenger cars in the next two years include driver drowsiness and distraction alert systems, reversing sensors or parking cameras, lane-keeping assistance and advanced emergency braking. 

The European Commission expect the introduction of built-in breathalysers alongside these other driver assistance systems to save around 25,000 lives and prevent 140,000 injuries by 2038. 

There are 28 deaths a year on the road per million people in the UK, while Sweden's figure is 25 fatalities, according to a new report by the ACEA

There are 28 deaths a year on the road per million people in the UK, while Sweden’s figure is 25 fatalities, according to a new report by the ACEA

EU Commissioner Elzbieta Bienkowska – previously the Polish Minister of Regional Development and Transport – 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.’ 

While Sweden and the UK top the charts for having the safest roads, eastern Europe dominates to other end of the table.

This is caused by a combination of factors, including the poor condition of road networks and drivers using older vehicles with lower crash safety technology and performance standards. 

Romania has the worst safety record with 99 road deaths per million people in the country, followed by Bulgaria (96), Croatia (80), Poland (75) and Latvia (70). 

Figures released for Britain by the Department for Transport show that 1,782 were killed on Britain’s roads each year.

The statistics are for the full year 2018, when 11 fewer deaths were recorded than the year previous.

Motoring groups claimed these stats were ‘disappointing’ when released a year ago, calling for Transport Secretary Grant Shapps to make reducing the death toll on Britain’s roads one of his ‘top priorities’.

While the death toll has remained consistent for the past seven years, it is vital to point out that road casualties in the UK are among the lowest across the globe.

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News of the UK’s impressive road safety statistics come as the Death By Dangerous Driving (Sentencing) Bill is set to be heard in the House of Commons on July 21, which could see those found guilty receive life sentences.

Justice Secretary Robert Buckland said: ‘We will have the time and the support of the Government to change the law in the right direction.’   

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