Road fatality rate down sharply last year in EU, but not in Lux


4,000 fewer people died in traffic accidents across the EU last year than in 2019, partially due to covid restrictions, the European Commission said this week. However, Luxembourg was one of five EU countries where the rate rose. Library picture: A3 motorway, seen in March 2020. Photographer: Matic Zorman 

The number of people killed in road accidents dropped dramatically across the EU in 2020, but the rate rose in the grand duchy, according to preliminary figures.

“Lower traffic volumes, as the result of the covid-19 pandemic, had a clear, though unmeasurable, impact on the number of road fatalities,” the European Commission stated on 20 April.

Across the EU27, “an estimated 18,800 people were killed in a road crash last year, an unprecedented annual fall of 17% on 2019.” Road fatalities were down by 36% comparing 2010 and 2020.

Luxembourg was one of five EU member states with a higher rate of road deaths last year: the figure was 18% higher. The others were Estonia, Finland, Ireland and Latvia. However, the commission noted that “the number in small countries tends to fluctuate from year to year.” And overall Luxembourg road fatalities shrank by roughly a fifth between 2010 and 2020.

The commission said it would release final data in the autumn.