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January 30, 2023
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Romania Records Highest Road Fatality in Europe

Romania records the highest road fatality in Europe in 2021, with an average of 93 deaths per 1 million inhabitants, according to a European Commission press release on March 28.

The European Commission has released preliminary road fatality numbers for 2021. As a result, Romania has the highest road death rate (93 death per million), while Sweden (18 deaths per one million inhabitants) is considered the country with the safest roads in Europe.

According to EC data, Bulgaria (81 death per million) and Latvia (79 death per million) are also considered countries with high road fatalities.

According to EC, the EU registered around 19 800 individuals killed in traffic accidents last year. The EC results record a 5% increase over 2020 with 1000 deaths, although it still represents over 3000 (-13%) fewer deaths than the pre-pandemic period in 2019. The overarching goal is to reduce mortality by half by 2030.

Although the overall ranking of countries’ fatality rates has not changed significantly, Denmark, Germany, Ireland, Cyprus, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Portugal and Sweden registered their lowest number of road fatalities in 2021.

As traffic levels return to normality, we must ensure that we don’t return to pre-pandemic numbers of deaths on our roads. At the EU level we will endeavour through financing, legislation and outreach to help deliver the ‘safe system’ of safer infrastructure, safer vehicles, safer road use and better post-crash care. But this is a shared responsibility with Member States, the industry and road users. Every death and serious injury on our roads is avoidable.

Adina Valean, Commissioner for Transport

The preliminary figures released by the EC emphasize that rural roads accounted for 52% of traffic fatalities, compared to 40% in metropolitan areas and 8% on highways. Car occupants (drivers and passengers) accounted for 43% of all road fatalities, with pedestrians accounting for 20%, powered-two-wheeler (motorbikes and mopeds) 18%, and cyclists accounting for 10%.

The distribution is considerably different within cities, with pedestrians accounting for most victims (37%). With 18% of fatalities involving powered two-wheelers and a growing number of cyclists (14%), vulnerable road users account for nearly 70% of total fatalities in metropolitan areas.

This result presented by the European Commission is not surprising. Romania never excelled in road safety. In 2020 Romania was ranked 24th in the top European countries in terms of the number of kilometers of highway, with a network of 910 kilometers, ahead of Bulgaria, which has 831 kilometers. Most of the streets in Romania are national and in poor condition due to the fact that Romania does not have the budget to restore them or build new ones. However, in Romania, there are projects for 2022 in this sense, but with the current crisis, no one knows if these projects will be realized.

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