This follows a decade of good progress which saw UK deaths nearly halved and EU deaths reduced by 43% between 2001 and 2010.
But this progress at European level slowed significantly in 2011, with fatalities falling by only 2% overall, compared to an average rate of improvement of 6% (7% for UK) over the previous decade, which had meant 125 000 fewer deaths EU-wide over ten years. (See table for more detail).
The biggest improvements in 2011 were in Denmark and Latvia (both 18% down) and the largest increases in fatalities in Estonia (29% up) Sweden and Cyprus (both 18% up). The highest figures for deaths per million people in 2011 were in Poland (109) and Greece (97), though the latter showed a major improvement compared to the previous year.
EC Vice-President and Transport Commissioner Siim Kallas said, "These figures are a wake-up call. This is the slowest decrease in road deaths in a decade. 85 people still die on Europe's roads every day. This is unacceptable. We need to sharply intensify efforts at EU and national level to reach our goal of cutting road fatalities in half again by 2020. I am writing to ministers in all Member States to ask for information about national road safety enforcement plans for 2012. I want to be reassured that even in tough economic times this important work is not being scaled back. At EU level, I intend also to target specifically fatalities on motorcycles in 2012, we need to see these deaths start to fall."
More detailed EU-wide figures including data on the types and causes of accidents will be available by the end of 2012.
For more information, please contact the London press office on 020 7973 1971.
All amounts expressed in sterling are approximate and will change with exchange rate fluctuations.