The UK has the second safest roads in Europe

The United Kingdom has the second safest roads in Europe. That’s according to figures released by the European Automobile Manufacturers Association (ACEA).

When based on the number of road fatalities per million inhabitants, the UK is ranked second with a figure of 28. Only Sweden’s roads are safer, with 25 road deaths per million people.

Road traffic deaths have been falling in the EU for the past two decades. In 2001, there were 54,900 fatalities. By 2017, this had fallen to 25,300. 

It means that the EU has the safest roads in the world. However, data from CARE (EU Road Accidents Database) shows that 70 people die every day on the roads of Europe.

ACEA road deaths

The majority of road incidents are linked to human error, with 10-30 percent of them caused by distraction. It is for this reason that a number driver assistance systems will become mandatory over the coming years.

Driver drowsiness and distraction warnings, intelligent speed assistance, reversing sensors or cameras, lane-keeping assistance and advanced emergency braking are just some of the systems that will become mandatory from 2022.

‘We can and must act’

Car crash in Latvia

Commissioner Elzbieta Bienkowska, responsible for internal market, industry, entrepreneurship and SMEs, said: “Every year, 25,000 people lose their lives on our roads. The vast majority of these accidents are caused by human error.

“We can and must act to change this. With the new advanced safety features that will become mandatory, we can have the same kind of impact as when the safety belts were first introduced.

“Many of the new features already exist, in particular in high–end vehicles. Now we raise the safety level across the board, and pave the way for connected and automated mobility of the future.”

Road fatalities are at their highest in the eastern regions of Europe. Romania has the worst record, with 99 fatalities per million inhabitants. Things are little better in Bulgaria (96 fatalities per million inhabitants), Croatia (80), Poland (75) and Latvia (70).

There are many reasons for this, including the poor condition of the road network and the reliance on older, less safe vehicles.

Top 10 safest roads in Europe

  1. Sweden: 25 (deaths per million inhabitants)
  2. UK: 28
  3. Denmark: 30
  4. Netherlands: 31
  5. Ireland: 33
  6. Estonia: 36
  7. Spain: 39
  8. Malta: 41
  9. Luxembourg: 42
  10. Finland: 43
1 reply
  1. Chris C
    Chris C says:

    That’s all very well but many UK roads could be realigned/widened to make them safer and shorter – a better investment than HS2.


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