Country profiles on road safety published

Comparison of data from the countries in the WHO European Region reveals an eight-fold difference in the likelihood of dying on the roads. Of the 53 countries in the Region, 52 took part in a survey for the Global status report on road safety 2015; this monitored progress towards achieving the goals of the Decade of Action for Road Safety 2011–2020, the importance of which was emphasized in the recent United Nations General Assembly resolution on improving road safety.

National profiles on road safety have been uploaded to the WHO/Europe website for the 52 participating countries. These provide information on road crash deaths and on key indicators to assess national road safety standards. Data show how well countries are implementing safer road and vehicular standards, as well as providing post-crash care. The profiles outline legislation and its enforcement to improve road user behaviour with laws and practices on key risk factors – such as regulating speed appropriate to road type, drink–driving and use of seat belts, motorcycle helmets and child restraints.  Laws on mobile phone usage are also included: four countries in the Region prohibit the use of hands-free phones.

Practitioners and policy-makers can use the country profiles to assess progress and to ramp up efforts to achieve the goals of the Decade of Action to halve road traffic injury deaths by 2020.  

Road safety survey findings in the European Region

The profiles show that almost 85 000 people died from road crashes in the Region in 2013, of whom 39% were vulnerable road users (pedestrians, bicyclists and motor cyclists). Road traffic injuries are the leading killer in children and young people aged 5–29 years. Despite an 8.1% overall reduction in deaths caused by road crashes between 2010 and 2013 in the Region, fatal incidents continue to increase in some countries. Greater policy efforts with safe systems approaches are needed to protect all road users.