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EU: fatalities in 2021 remain well below pre-pandemic level

28 March 2022

The European Commission has published preliminary figures on road fatalities for 2021 . An estimated 19 800 people were killed in road crashes last year. This was an increase of 1 000 deaths (+5%) on 2020, but still represents almost 3 000 (-13%) fewer fatalities compared to the pre-pandemic period in 2019. The overall target is to halve the number of deaths by 2030. EU-wide, the last decade saw a fall of 36%.  

An estimated 19 800 people were killed in road crashes last year. This was an increase of 1 000 deaths (+5%) on 2020, but still represents almost 3 000 (-13%) fewer fatalities compared to the pre-pandemic period in 2019. The overall target is to halve the number of deaths by 2030. EU-wide, the last decade saw a fall of 36%.  

Contrasting picture across EU roads 

EU-wide, road deaths in 2021 rose by 5% on the previous year, although comparisons with 2020 are strongly influenced by the traffic level patterns in each country during the course of the pandemic. Between 2019 and 2020, the number of road fatalities fell by 17%.   

The overall ranking1 of countries' fatality rates has not changed significantly with the safest roads being found in Sweden (18 deaths per one million inhabitants) while Romania (93/million) reported the highest rate in 2021. The EU average was 44 road deaths per million inhabitants.

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