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New road safety statistics from the European Traffic Safety Council

Publication date: 29 April 2014

The European Traffic Safety Council (ETSC) reported today that there were 12,345 car occupant deaths in 2012. This compares with 27,700 deaths of car occupants in 2001, indicating a decrease of 55%.


Deaths of car occupants were cut by more than the overall traffic death rate (49%) and substantially more than the rate for other road users (41%). Car occupants have therefore benefitted more than other road users from road safety measures adopted over the past decade. This is not surprising, as many of those measures were targeted at car occupants including increased enforcement of the main traffic offences, improved vehicle occupant protection, and, to a lesser extent, improved infrastructure.


Achieving the EU road safety target, to reduce road deaths by half by 2020, will continue to depend strongly on the EU and its Member States sustaining reductions in car occupant deaths.


Additional findings of the report stated that 900 lives could be saved every year in the EU if car manufacturers were required to fit seat-belt reminder sensors to front and rear passenger seats to help prevent deaths from failure to wear belts. The European Commission is currently revising vehicle safety rules with new proposals expected next year. 


The report also showed that Spain and Latvia made biggest progress in cutting car occupant deaths.


Read the report


The ETSC press release

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