Back in 2001, an average of 113 people out of every million died in EU road accidents. The rate is now less than half that amount at 52 deaths per million for 2013.
Despite these encouraging figures, around 26,000 people were killed on EU roads last year while about 250,000 have been seriously injured. For every person killed in a crash, there are an estimated:
- 4 life-long disabled;
- 10 seriously injured and
- 40 slightly injured.
Vice-President Siim Kallas, EU Commissioner for mobility and transport, said:
"It is extremely important that the good results from 2012 were not a one-off. However, there are still 70 people who die on Europe's roads every day, so we cannot be complacent. We must continue our joint efforts at all levels to further improve the safety on European roads."
EU action to make Europe's roads safer
Safer lorries: improving visibility for truck drivers by amending truck manufacturing rules to allow for more rounded cab designs. This alone is estimated will save between 300-500 vulnerable road users per annum.
Crack-down on traffic offences committed abroad: the cross-border enforcement law will mean those who commit driving offences can be more easily pursued by the law enforcement agencies. EU statistics suggest foreign drivers account for 15% of speeding offences but only 5% of the traffic. (except in the UK, Ireland and Denmark).
Tougher vehicle testing rules: strengthened(MOTs) rules have should significantly reduce road deaths cause by technical faults on vehicles. More than five people die on Europe's road every day in accidents linked to faulty motors.
More stringent licencing rules: EU rules now prevent young riders with no practical experience from riding the most powerful class of motorcycles. Nowadays there is a much stronger focus on training and testing via "staged access". And mopeds now form a new vehicle category and candidates for a licence have to pass a theory test.
eCall roll-out: Proposals to ensure all new cars from 2015 will automatically call emergency series in the case of a serious crash has been put forward by the Commission. It is estimated that eCall could speed up emergency response times by 40% in urban areas and 50% in the countryside.