Transport accident fatalities
Assessment made on 01 Mar 2004
ClassificationTransport (Primary theme)
- TERM 009
Policy issue: Reduce the number of transport fatalities and persons injured in transport accidents.
Even though the annual number of road fatalities have fallen by 20 % since 1993 in the EEA-31 area, they still numbered close to 60 000 in 2002. To reach the ambitious EU-25 target of halving the numbers of fatalities between 2000 and 2010, while transport volumes are expected to continue growing, further accident preventing policies are necessary.
The number of fatalities in transport continues to decrease, but the media coverage of accidents gives a disproportional picture of the risk. Accidents in air, sea and rail transport receive much more attention, partly because accidents are rare, partly because it often involves a larger number of people. Road accidents generally receive much less attention in the press. The result is a skewed perception of real risks.
Even though the number of deaths due to road accidents has fallen significantly during the past decade, road traffic still makes heavy demands on society. Significant efforts will be needed to reach the ambitious target drawn up in the Common Transport Policy and the European road safety action programme. However, with improved enforcement a major step can be taken. Changing behaviour in the use of alcohol and drugs when driving, observe speed limits and wearing of seatbelts can reduce the number of victims significantly, as these factors explain around half of the fatalities in road traffic. So with improved observance of road users, the target of halving the number of deaths in road accidents between 2000 and 2010 can be reached. The target can therefore be assumed as feasible.
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This briefing is part of the EEA's report The European Environment - State and Outlook 2015. The EEA is an official agency of the EU, tasked with providing information on Europe’s environment.
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