Bulgaria had highest road accident death rate in the EU in 2016 – official

Bulgaria had the highest road fatality rate of any European Union country in 2016, according to figures released by the European Commission.

The road fatality rate in Bulgaria in 2016 was 99 per million inhabitants, almost double the EU average of 50.

The country had the weakest road safety record in the EU, followed by Romania with 97 per million, Latvia 80 and Poland, 79.

Bulgaria’s road fatality rate in 2016 was hardly changed from that in 2015, when it was 98 per million.

It has dropped by nine per cent in comparison with 2010, when it was 105 – at a time when the EU road fatality rate was 63.

Over the same period, between 2010 and 2016, Romania’s road fatality rate has fallen from 117 per million to 97, a decrease of 19 per cent.

While most EU countries had improved their road safety records since 2010, there is still a “significant gap” in performance across the EU, the European Commission said.

In 2016, countries with the lowest fatality rate per million inhabitants were Sweden (27), the UK (28), the Netherlands (33), Spain (37), Denmark (37), Germany (39) and Ireland (40).

Among the EU countries that registered the biggest decrease in the number of road fatalities from 2015 to 2016 are Lithuania (22 per cent), Latvia (16 per cent) and the Czech Republic (16 per cent).

In 2016, for the second year in a row, no EU country had a fatality rate above 100 deaths per million inhabitants and most EU countries recorded a fatality rate below 80 deaths per million inhabitants.

Furthermore, almost half of the EU countries reached their best road safety records ever.

The 2016 road safety statistics released on March 28 by the European Commission show a drop of two per cent in the number of fatalities recorded across the EU in 2016.

About 25 500 people died on EU roads in 2016, 600 fewer than in 2015 and 6000 fewer than in 2010. A further 135 000 people were seriously injured on the road, according to Commission’s estimates.

Following two years of stagnation, 2016 marks the return of a positive downwards trend and over the last six years, road fatalities have been cut by 19 per cent.

“While this pace is encouraging, it may nevertheless be insufficient if the EU is to meet its target of halving road fatalities between 2010 and 2020. This calls for further efforts from all actors and particularly from the national and local authorities, which deliver most of the day-to-day actions, such as enforcement and awareness-raising,” the Commission said.

The chances of dying in a car accident vary among EU countries.

“Although the gap narrows every year, those living in the member states with the highest fatalities rates are still over three times more likely to be killed on the road than those living in the countries with the lowest rates,” the statement said.

European roads remain the safest in the world: in 2016, the EU counted 50 road fatalities per one million inhabitants, against 174 deaths per million globally.

(Photo: Gabriella Fabbri/freeimages.com)




The Sofia Globe staff

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