The European Transport Safety Council (ETSC) has published a report detailing which countries have made the most progress in reducing road deaths since 2010.

According to the report, Estonia, Greece, Lithuania, Latvia and Portugal have reduced road deaths the most. Estonia will receive the 2020 ETSC Road Safety Performance Index Award in recognition of it now having a level of road mortality (road deaths per million inhabitants) comparable to the Netherlands.

The report also shows that two of Europe’s traditional leaders on road safety: the Netherlands and the United Kingdom, while remaining relatively safe when compared on road mortality, had more road deaths in 2019 than in 2010. France, Sweden and Germany have also shown disappointing progress over the last nine years with only modest reductions in deaths. Bulgaria and Romania remain Europe’s worst performers in terms of road mortality and have also made below-average reductions in recent years.

The EU, and its Member States, agreed a target to cut road deaths by half in the decade to 2020. According to ETSC, that target will almost certainly be missed.

“While progress across Europe has disappointed over the last nine years, some countries have been quietly undergoing a road safety revolution,” said Antonio Avenoso, Executive Director of ETSC. “We’re delighted to award Estonia this year for its remarkable progress, following Ireland’s win in 2019.”

“Overall, EU Member States will need to step up a gear to hit the new targets for 2030.  But the recent response to the Covid-19 epidemic may signal a way forward. A dramatic shift to walking and cycling in urban areas, combined with infrastructure changes and lower speed limits, could have a massive impact on road death and injury.  But if we just revert to business-as-usual after this crisis, the results could be even worse than before.  There are danger signs already in the large numbers of speeding offences being reported as lockdowns are lifted, which only adds to the work of overstretched police and emergency services.”

Download the full report from