While speeding caused fewer accidents last year than before, the number of accidents caused by drink driving is rising Photo: Shutterstock

While speeding caused fewer accidents last year than before, the number of accidents caused by drink driving is rising Photo: Shutterstock

After the number of traffic accidents declined in 2020 because of pandemic lockdowns and curfews, it rose to 916 last year.

Compared to the pre-pandemic years--988 accidents in 2019 and 947 in 2018--there were fewer road accidents last year. The number of accidents had dropped to 771 in 2020, which was marked by a nearly three-month lockdown at the start of the coronavirus pandemic and other restrictions that saw people spend more time at home.

This statistic lists accidents in which a person was harmed and excludes fender benders or other minor incidents.

Of the 916 accidents, 21 were fatal, killing 24 people. Another 267 people were seriously injured compared to 975 people suffering light injuries.

Of those killed, 15 drove a car, three rode a motorcycle and one drove a van. Five pedestrians were also killed. Country roads were the site of nearly two thirds of fatal accidents (71%), followed by cities and towns (23%) and motorways (5%).

For example, seven people died after crashing into a tree, the same number as in accidents between two vehicles. Most serious and fatal accidents occurred in the summer and autumn, and in dry, sunny conditions.

Four people who died and 15 who were seriously injured did not wear a seatbelt. Speeding was the most common cause of fatal (43%) and serious (20%) accidents, followed by drunk driving. 

Overall, the rate of fatal and serious accidents caused by speeding has decreased. In 2019, speeding caused 59% of fatal accidents. “We see that a different cultural perception of speed has taken hold in Luxembourg, which is extremely positive,” said transport minister François Bausch (déi Gréng) during a press conference on Wednesday, citing speed cameras as one of the reasons behind this change. “However, it is terrifying that the number of accidents resulting from drink-driving and drug use has increased,” he added.

Drivers aged 18 to 34 were more likely to be involved in a fatal or serious accident.

Looking over a longer period of time, the number of road fatalities nearly halved between 2013 and last year, dropping from 45 to 24. The decline was slower for seriously injured road users--down to 267 from 316--while the number of people suffering mild injuries in a road accident rose from 936 to 975.