In 2010, the European Union renewed its commitment to improving road safety by setting a target of reducing road deaths by 50% by 2020, compared to 2010 levels. This goal followed an earlier target set in 2001 to halve road deaths by 2010.
2014 was a bad year for road safety. 25,845 people were killed in the EU28 as a consequence of road collisions compared to 26,009 in 2013, representing a decrease of only 0.6%, compared with the decrease of 6.7% that is needed to reach the target for 2020 by equal annual reductions. Out of the 32 countries monitored by the PIN Programme, only 18 registered a drop in the number of road deaths between 2013 and 2014, 13 saw an increase while progress stagnated in one country (Fig.1). However, some countries are doing better than the others.
Malta (-44% from its unusually high number in 2013), Luxembourg (-22%), Norway (-21%), and Croatia (-16%) achieved the best reductions in 2014 compared to
2013. Slovenia, Serbia, Finland, Greece and Switzerland recorded reductions of more than or very nearly 10%. Across the EU28 road deaths have been cut by 18% between 2010 and 2014 (Fig.2), equivalent to a 4.9% average annual reduction. A 6.7% year-to-year reduction is needed over the 2010-2020 period to reach the target through constant progress in annual percentage terms (Fig.3). Yet, since the slowdown in 2014, the number of road deaths between 2015 and 2020 has to be reduced at a much faster pace of about 8% each year for the EU to be on track for the target. Reaching the EU target for 2020 is at risk, but it might still be reachable if combined efforts at both national and EU levels are stepped up urgently. There were 15,545 fewer road deaths in the EU in 2011-2014 than if the 2010 rate had continued.
According to ETSC estimates, this reduction is valued at 30 billion euro (Fig.4). Preventing deaths and serious injuries on EU roads is a sound investment in terms of resources devoted to safety measures and the saving potential is far from being exhausted.
In 2014 more than 203,500 people were recorded as seriously injured by the police in the 23 EU countries that distinguish between seriously and slightly injured in their data. Many more suffered slight injuries. The number of seriously injured grew by almost 3% in 2014 compared to 2013. ETSC recommends the European Commission to adopt a target of a 35% reduction between 2014 and 2020 in the number of people seriously injured according to the MAIS3+ definition (Fig.9) and a strategy to reverse the trend (see Part II).Download Download background tables (.xls) Download methodological note on road safety benefits