Back Number of road traffic victims down by 17% in 2020


© Thierry Camus/

In 2020, the number of people killed in road traffic accidents in the EU decreased by 17% compared with 2019. Although this number decreased gradually over the last decade, the unprecedented drop in 2020 was largely due to the impact of COVID-19 restrictive measures on passenger transport. 

This information comes from data on road safety published by Eurostat today. The article presents a handful of findings from the more detailed Statistics Explained article on road accident fatalities.

The total number of people who died in road accidents in the EU was 18 786 in 2020, of which 44% were passenger car occupants, 19% pedestrians, 16% on motorcycles, 10% on bicycles and 11% in other categories (including light and heavy goods vehicles, buses and coaches, mopeds and other vehicles).

 Source datasets: tran_sf_roadve and tran_r_acci


Number of road fatalities relative to the population lowest in Sweden, highest in Romania

Compared with the population of each Member State, the lowest rates of road fatalities in 2020 were observed in Sweden (20 road traffic victims per million inhabitants), Malta (23), Denmark (27) and Spain (29), ahead of Ireland and the Netherlands (both 30).

In contrast, the highest rates were recorded in Romania (85 road traffic victims per million inhabitants), followed by Latvia (73), Bulgaria (67) and Poland (66).

In 2020, there were 42 road traffic victims per million inhabitants in the EU as a whole.


Bar chart showing the number of people killed in road accidents in 2020, in the EU/EFTA countries with available data, per million inhabitants

Source datasets: tran_sf_roadve, tran_r_acci and demo_pjan


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