Are road accidents on the rise in Germany?
The number of road traffic deaths in Germany has declined sharply. Yet the situation often remains dangerous, such as for cyclists.
On Wednesday, the Germany's federal government discussed the current state of accident prevention, including the question of how to reduce road traffic accidents. The groundwork was the still unpublished 2016-17 accident prevention report by the Federal Ministry of Transport.
The report contains a specific focus on lorries, which often hit cyclists and pedestrians when turning. According to the Federal Office of Statistics, 37 cyclists died in such accidents in the last year; 382 cyclists lost their lives in total.
Still, the overall number of traffic-related deaths has decreased in the past years and decades; according to information from the Federal Office of Statistics, in 2017 the figure sank to 3180, and thus to its lowest level since records began in 1953. A core reason for this is stricter laws, such as mandatory seat-belts and helmets, and lowered speed limit.
Furthermore, since 2000, the number of cyclists killed in accidents has decreased by 42 percent, the Redaktionsnetzwerk Deutschland (the German editorial network) reported on Wednesday in connection to the as-of-yet unpublished report.
As a result of feeling more secure on the road, the report states, the number of cyclists wearing helmets has only slightly increased in the last few years. The Redaktionsnetwerk Deutschland cited from the report that, in 2017, 19 percent of all cyclists wore a helmet. In 2014, the figure was reportedly 17 percent.
The “Unfallverhütungsbericht Straßenverkehr” (The Road Traffic Accident Prevention Report) is published every two years, most recently for the years 2014-15.