Road deaths rise puts UK behind most European countries

Road fatalities in the UK rose by four per cent last year prompting more calls for improved road safety

Uninsured driver car crash

The UK has been found trailing most European countries in the push to reduce road deaths, with the number of people killed on the country’s roads rising four per cent last year.

Figures from the European Transport Safety Council (ETSC) show 1,878 people died on UK roads in 2016, compared to 1,804 in 2015.

• Safest cars on sale 2017

Since 2010 the UK has cut fatalities by just 1.4 per cent with only Luxembourg, Malta and Sweden making worse progress during the same period.

The highest fall in European road deaths last year came from Lithuania with a 22.3 per cent reduction, while the figure dropped 7.1 per cent in Germany and 4.6 per cent in Italy. But Spain saw a 6.4 per cent rise in fatalities between 2015 and 2016.

While reductions in road deaths in the UK have stagnated, it remains one of the safest places in Europe to drive. Last year there were with 3.5 deaths per billion kilometres travelled and 29 deaths per million people, the third and fourth lowest on the continent respectively.

What is Euro NCAP?

The European Union set a target to halve road deaths between 2010 and 2020 but progress has stagnated in recent years with only half of member states seeing a drop in fatalities in 2016. Last year 25,671 people died on Europe’s roads, compared to 31,595 in 2010.

The ETSC is calling for better funding for road safety programmes as well as streamlining emergency service response chains across member states.

The ETSC report on road fatalities stated: "Since 2014, progress has virtually ground to a halt. The political will to improve on this poor progress is important. The lack of it at EU member state level has contributed to a decline in levels of police enforcement, a failure to invest in safer infrastructure and limited action on tackling speed and drink driving in a number of countries.

“At the EU level there has also been a conspicuous lack of action. Minimum EU vehicle safety standards have not been updated since 2009 despite rapid advances in vehicle crashworthiness and new technology that can help drivers to avoid or mitigate the consequences of collisions.”

Do you think the UK Government should be doing more to increase road safety? Tell us in the comments below... 

Recommended

VED road tax: how much does it cost?
car tax calculator
Consumer news

VED road tax: how much does it cost?

Confused by VED road tax? Our comprehensive guide explains how much you'll pay on your next car
4 Mar 2021
Budget 2021: Fuel duty frozen for 11th consecutive year
News

Budget 2021: Fuel duty frozen for 11th consecutive year

Chancellor scraps plan to increase fuel duty in bid to keep cost of living down during ongoing Covid-19 pandemic 
3 Mar 2021
Smart motorways explained
M6 motorway traffic
Consumer news

Smart motorways explained

Smart motorways are meant to be a cost-effective way of increasing road capacity, but they’ve made headlines for the wrong reasons
26 Feb 2021
Smart motorways inquiry launched by MPs
smart motorway
News

Smart motorways inquiry launched by MPs

The Transport Committee will investigate the impact of smart motorways following concerns over their safety and calls for them to be scrapped
26 Feb 2021

Most Popular

New 2021 Volvo C40 joins brand’s electric car line-up
Volvo C40 - front
Volvo C40

New 2021 Volvo C40 joins brand’s electric car line-up

The new Volvo C40 Recharge will take on electric car rivals such as the Tesla Model 3 and forthcoming Audi Q4 e-tron
2 Mar 2021
'Genesis’s aim is to lure Jaguar Land Rover customers'
Genesis
Opinion

'Genesis’s aim is to lure Jaguar Land Rover customers'

Mike Rutherford thinks luxury brand Genesis could take sales away from Jaguar Land Rover when it lands in the UK
1 Mar 2021
New Audi e-tron GT 2021 review
Audi e-tron GT - front
Audi e-tron GT

New Audi e-tron GT 2021 review

The tech-packed Audi e-tron GT EV is a landmark model for the German brand
2 Mar 2021