Bulgaria, Romania Show Worst Road Safety Records in EU in 2015
Bulgaria and Romania had the weakest road safety records among EU member states last year, according to official statistics of the bloc.
While all the EU member states have improved their road safety records since 2010, there was still a significant gap in their performance, the European Commission said in a statement on Thursday.
The countries with the lowest fatality rate per million inhabitants last year were Sweden (27), the Netherlands (28), the UK (29), Denmark (30) and Malta (26).
At the opposite end were Romania (95), Bulgaria (95), Latvia (94), Lithuania (82), and Croatia (82). The two Baltic countries, however, have marked a significant decrease from 2014 to 2015, namely Latvia (-11%) and Lithuania (-10%), the Commission said.
Between 2001 and 2010, Europe cut the number of road deaths by 43% in spite of the increased traffic volumes, and has reduced it by another 17% since 2010.
With average 51.5 road fatalities per one million inhabitants, Europe has the lowest fatality rate for any region in the world. This ratio is 106 in the United States and 174 globally. Also on the bright side for Europe, for the very first time, none of the EU Member States had a fatality rate above 100 deaths per million inhabitants last year.
However, the Commission said, the rate of decrease in the number of road fatalities rate has clearly slowed down in recent years with the change in fatality figures close to 0 from 2013 to 2014, and again from 2014 to 2015.
The Commission attributed the slowdown marking the last three years to several factors, including higher interaction between unprotected and motorised road users in European cities, and an ever growing number of elderly people in road traffic.
Other factors include a growing number of vulnerable road users; an increase of traffic during milder winters in Europe; less resources dedicated to road maintenance and vehicles following the economic crises.
Last but not least was new trends emerging in users’ behaviour, for example distraction mainly by mobile phones, the Commission said.
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