There was a fall of 2% in the number of fatalities on Europe’s roads in 2016, according to recent figures released by the European Commission.
Too Many Road Users Continue to Lose their Lives
According to the 2016 road safety statistics, 25,500 people lost their lives on roads across the EU, which is 600 fewer than in 2015 and 6,000 fewer than in 2010. A further 135,000 people sustained serious injuries as a result of road traffic accidents. The Commission estimates that for every death on Europe’s roads there are an estimated four permanently disabling injuries such as damage to the brain or spinal cord, eight serious injuries and 50 minor injuries.
Over the past six years, road fatalities have apparently fallen by 19%. However, prior to 2016 there had been two years of stagnation in fatality levels, and so the return to a downward trend has been welcomed. Despite this, the Commission has highlighted that progress may not be sufficient to enable the EU to meet its target of halving road fatalities between 2010 and 2020. The Commission has therefore called for all parties to make further efforts to get traffic fatality reductions back on track.
“Today’s statistics are an improvement and something positive to build on,” commented Commissioner for Transport Violeta Bulc. “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,” she added. “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.”
Figures Vary Between Member States
Statistics show that the chances of being killed in a road traffic accident vary between Member States. Although the gap narrows every year, those living in the Member States with the highest fatality rates are still over three times more likely to be killed on the road than those living in countries with the lowest rates.
The Commission’s figures show that the UK has one of the lowest road fatality rates, with an average of 27 people killed per million habitants in 2015. The EU average is 51 per million inhabitants.
Scotland’s Road Traffic Injury Figures
In Scotland, figures from Transport Scotland show that 168 people were killed on the roads in 2015, a fall of 17% compared to the previous year. A further 1,596 people were seriously injured, which is a fall of 6%.
2015 saw a 7% reduction in car users seriously injured, a 21% reduction in motorcyclists seriously injured and there was also a slight reduction in pedestrian injuries. However, there was a 3% increase in pedal cyclists seriously injured and bus casualties seriously injured increased from 28 to 49.
Our personal injury lawyers have many years of experience helping people deal with the challenges that can result from a road traffic accident. We offer a free consultation to let you know about all of the options for getting compensation, care and rehabilitation as soon as possible. To arrange a free consultation, or to find out more about our no win no fee service, call us on 01412496903 or contact us online.