A new report published by the International Transport Forum (ITF) reveals the countries that have achieved the biggest reductions in road deaths, with the U.S. named as the worst performing country.
According to the Road Safety Annual Report 2018, the number of traffic deaths fell in 26 out of 32 countries in the International Road Traffic Data and Analysis (IRTAD) Group in 2016, benchmarked against 2010 results. The strongest reductions were achieved by Portugal (-39.9 percent), Lithuania (-35.8 percent) and Norway (-35.1 percent). The report claims the success of Norway is particularly remarkable, as the country’s roads were already among the safest in the world.
The United States experienced the largest increase (+13.5 percent) driven by a 14 percent increase between 2014 and 2016. The four other countries that registered more traffic deaths in 2016 than in 2010 are Argentina (+9.0 percent), Chile (+5.0 percent), Sweden (+1.5 percent) and Iceland (10 more deaths).
“For most IRTAD countries, we observe a downward trend in the number of road deaths since the beginning of the 21st century. This is good news,” said Fred Wegman, Chair of the IRTAD Group. “However, we also note that most of the progress happened between 2000 and 2010, then the downward trend slowed. In 2015 and 2016, the number of road deaths plateaued or even increased in several countries.
“The provisional data for 2017 is encouraging,” he added. “But based on data from the last three years, we are uncertain whether the downward trend will continue.”
Preliminary figures show fewer road deaths in 2017, with 20 of 29 member countries reporting a reduction in fatalities. Four saw the number of traffic fatalities remain stable while five registered increases of two percent or more in road deaths compared to 2016.
“With 1.3 million victims who lose their life on the world’s roads every year and tens of millions suffering injuries, road safety is a global health emergency,” said ITF Secretary-General Young Tae Kim.
View the Road Safety Annual Report 2018.