Road deaths fall to lowest level in 60 years, but thousands still dying

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Jörg Luyken - [email protected]
Road deaths fall to lowest level in 60 years, but thousands still dying
Photo: DPA

The number of people who died on German roads in 2016 was the lowest in six decades.


A total of 3,214 people died in car crashes and traffic accidents on German roads in 2016, the Federal Statistics Office (destatis) announced on Friday.

That was 245 fewer road deaths than in 2015, a drop of 7.1 percent.

That didn't mean that Germans were less likely to end up in a crash though. 2016 was also the year with the highest number of traffic accidents since reunification 27 years ago. Police recorded 2.6 million traffic accidents.

The number of people injured in road accidents in 2016 also rose by 0.8 percent to 396,700.

The chart shows road deaths in thousands since 1953. Deaths hit a peak at over 20,000 in 1970 before a 100 km/h speed limit was brought in on country roads. A year later, a maximum blood alcohol level of 0.8 was introduced.

The government statisticians noted a particular drop in the number of motorbike deaths, with 98 fewer bikers dying in 2016 than in the previous year. Forty-five fewer car drivers also died.

But there was an opposing trend for cyclists, with 15 more dying than in 2015, a plus of 4.3 percent.

Bavaria was the most fatal of the 16 German states in absolute terms, with 616 deaths on its roads. But people on the roads of Saxony-Anhalt and Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania had the highest chances of dying, with 59 and 55 road deaths per 1 million inhabitants, respectively.

According to EU statistics from 2014, Germany is one of the safer countries on the continent for drivers, slightly more dangerous than Spain, but less fatal than Turkey or France.



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