Bulgaria is Second in the EU in Number of Road Fatalities

Incidents | February 21, 2023, Tuesday // 15:13|  views

Just a normal day in Sofia

Romania and Bulgaria report the highest number of victims in the European Union in traffic accidents relative to the size of the population, according to data from the European Commission.

The overall ranking of the countries by the number of deaths has not changed significantly compared to the period before the pandemic - in 2022 the roads were the safest in Sweden and Denmark (respectively 21 and 26 deaths per one million inhabitants), while the number of traffic accident victims is highest in Romania and Bulgaria (respectively 86 and 78 per one million inhabitants).

The EU average is 46 deaths per million inhabitants.

At the same time, Bulgaria reports a decrease in the number of victims on the roads in recent years. The decrease between 2017 and 2019 in the country averaged 17 percent, compared to 11 percent on average for the EU.

Last year, around 20,600 people died in road traffic accidents in the EU. Compared to 2021, this is an increase of 3% and is due to the fact that traffic levels have recovered since the pandemic.

The European Commission emphasizes that much of what has been achieved during the COVID-19 period (including the 17% drop that was seen in 2020 compared to 2019) has not been lost. Compared to the pre-pandemic 2019, deaths were 2,000 fewer (-10%).

The goal of the EU and the UN is to halve the number of road traffic deaths by 2030.

Progress is very uneven across Member States. The largest decrease (over 30%) was reported by Lithuania and Poland, followed by Denmark with 23%.

In contrast, over the past three years, the number of road deaths in countries such as Ireland, Spain, France, Italy, the Netherlands and Sweden has remained largely unchanged or increased.

Most affected groups

Available EU-wide data for 2021 (no detailed data yet for 2022) shows that 52% of road traffic deaths occurred on non-urban roads, 39% on urban roads and 9% - on motorways.

In three out of four road deaths, the deceased was male (78%).

A total of 45% of all road fatalities were traveling by car (drivers and passengers), 18% were pedestrians, 19% were using two-wheeled motor vehicles (motorcycles and mopeds) and 9% were cyclists.

However, the situation is much different on roads in populated areas: there, nearly 70% of the total number of deaths are made up of vulnerable road users (pedestrians, cyclists and users of two-wheeled motor vehicles).

In urban areas, traffic deaths are most often due to car and truck crashes.

The trend towards an increase in the number of cyclists killed on EU roads is of serious concern. This is the only group of road users in which the last decade has not seen a significant decrease in the number of deaths.

Preliminary data from France, for example, shows that in 2022, compared to 2019, the number of cyclist deaths increased by 30%.

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Tags: Bulgaria, road, EU, traffic


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