Every year thousands of people lose their life or are seriously injured in accidents on EU roads. Between 2001 and 2017 the number of road deaths in Europe decreased by 57.5% thanks to social and technological developments, but figures show that the decrease in the fatality rate is slowing.
In 2017, the EU countries with the best road safety records were Sweden, UK and the Netherlands, while countries with the weakest ones were Romania, Bulgaria and Croatia.
Almost 14% of people killed on EU roads are aged between 18 and 24, while only 8% of the European population falls within this age group. Moreover, the proportion of elderly fatalities rose from 22% in 2010 to 27% in 2017, due to demographic changes. Children under 15 years old account for 2%.
Three quarters (76%) of road fatalities are male and 24% female.
What the EU is doing to improve road safety
On 16 April MEPs vote on new rules to make 30 advanced safety features mandatory, such as intelligent speed assistance, driver distraction warning and emergency braking system. Compulsory safety technologies could help save more than 25,000 lives and avoid at least 140,000 serious injuries by 2038, given that human error is involved in about 95% of all road traffic accidents.