How Safe Are Your Roads?

The European Commission – Mobility And Transport (DG MOVE) have asked the question – How safe are your roads? – and state that their road safety statistics show that there has been a small improvement for 2014.

Following two years of solid decreases in the number of people killed on Europe’s roads, the first reports on road deaths in 2014 are disappointing. According to the figures released, the number of road fatalities has decreased by approximately 1% compared to 2013. This follows on the 8% decrease in 2012 and 2013. The figures reveal a total of 25 700 road deaths in 2014 across all 28 Member States of the EU. Whilst this is 5700 fewer than in 2010, it falls short of the intended target decrease. A full overview is available in the Annex.

Violeta Bulc, EU Commissioner for Transport said: “It’s sad and hard to accept that almost 70 Europeans die on our roads every day, with many more being seriously injured. The figures published today should be a wake-up call. Behind the figures and statistics there are grieving spouses, parents, children, siblings, colleagues and friends. They also remind us that road safety requires constant attention and further efforts.” She added: “We need to step up our work for the coming years, to reach the intended EU target of halving the number of road deaths by 2020. Let’s work together to make sure more people come home safely at the end of their journey. This is one of my priorities and should be one of the priorities of all governments in all the Member States!”

In 2014, the country specific statistics show that the number of road deaths still vary greatly across the EU. The average EU fatality rate for 2014 is expected to be 51 road deaths per million inhabitants. Malta, the Netherlands, Sweden and the United Kingdom continue to report the lowest road fatality rates, with less than 30 deaths per million inhabitants. Four countries still report fatality rates above 90 dead per million inhabitants: Bulgaria, Latvia, Lithuania and Romania.

However the figures published today do show that the total number of EU road deaths has decreased by 18.2% since 2010. Some European countries report a better than average road safety improvement over the years. This is the case of notably Greece, Portugal and Spain. Equally Denmark, Croatia, Malta, Cyprus, Romania, Italy, Slovenia and the Czech Republic report a reduction of road deaths above the EU average for 2010-2014.

What About Motorcyclist Safety?

eu-roadsafety-2015-motorcycists-250In the accompanying fact sheet on road safety in the EU motorcyclist safety is included in a separate chapter, the “headlines” state that:

  • 15 % of all fatalities are motorcycle riders
  • 3 % are moped riders
  • Fatality decrease in line with overall reduction trend
  • High share of all deaths in Greece, Cyprus and Malta
  • 94 % are men

The fact sheet goes on to state:

In total, the motorcyclists make up 15 % of all who die on the road in the EU. There are 11 motorcyclist deaths per 100 000 registered motorcycles compared to 5 car occupant deaths per 100 000 registered cars. This reflects the fact that the motorcycle rider is less protected in case of a crash.

The number of motorcyclists killed on roads in the EU has decreased by 17 % between 2010 and 2013, almost in line with the EU the total fatality decrease these years.

The motorcycle riders’ share of all road deaths differs substantially between Member States. The lowest shares are reported from Estonia, Romania and Bulgaria where motorcyclists account for less than 5 % of all road deaths.
On the other end of the scale, Greece, Italy and France report more than 20 % of all fatalities as motorcyclists.

Motorcyclists are killed and injured on all kinds of roads. The majority, 56 %, are killed on inter-urban roads.

Among the motorcyclists killed in road traffic crashes, 94 % are men.

The age profile among motorcyclist fatalities is almost the opposite that of pedestrians and cyclists. Only 4 % of all killed motorcyclists were older than 65 years. 57 % were between 25 and 49 years.

Motorcycle use and motorcycle fatalities are much more dependent on weather and season than car driver fatalities with little use of powered two wheelers during the winter months in Northern Europe.

Mopeds and other light powered two-wheelers make up around 3 % of all EU road deaths.

Higher than average shares are reported from for example the Netherlands, Portugal and Denmark, all with more than 5 % of road deaths being moped riders.

Some Good News

In the conclusion to the document the Commission states that, “The good news are that road fatalities among young people continue decreasing. Motorcyclist road deaths also keep up with the decrease rate of the total fatality numbers.”

However reiterated is that the EU has an ambitious road safety target for this decade: halving the number of road deaths from 2010 to 2020 with the target although challenging it is not impossible to reach.

This target also includes new possibilities for analysis of non-fatal but serious road crashes.

Apparently on in 2015, the first new EU-wide data on serious road injuries should be reported by Member States.

The Commission says that, “Understanding the real scope of the injury problem is the first step towards reducing also these crashes towards the long-term vision zero goal.” with the intention to set shortly a new target for the reduction of serious road injuries and define a strategy to meet this target.

However we have to ask whether that long-term goal of vision zero is viable and it will be very interesting from our own research background at Right To Ride to see where the scope of injury problems will lead motorcycling!

Original Source – EU Commission – Mobility And Transport – Click Here
Leave Comments On Right To Ride EU – Click Here

Links Information

Fact sheet on Road safety in the EU – 1.18mb – pdf Click Here
EU Commission – Mobility And Transport – Road Safety – Click Here
EU Consultation – Mid-term review of the 2011 White Paper on Transport – Part of the 2011 White Paper on Transport was towards a ‘zero-vision’ on road safety, with a particular attention which included motorcyclists – Click Here

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