Development of safety in road traffic
The positive trend followed by German accident statistics continued in 2014, albeit on a lower level than in the previous year. The number of fatalities was slightly higher than the previous year, however. From January to November 2014 around 2.18 million road traffic accidents were recorded. This corresponds to a slight fall compared to the same period in 2013 of 1.2 percent. The number of accidents resulting in personal injuries rose during the period to 278,500 (+3.4 percent). The vast majority of accidents on the road (approx. 1.90 million) only involved vehicle damage.
During the same period, 3,062 people lost their lives in traffic accidents on German roads. That represents an increased of approx. 0.7 percent over the first eleven months of 2013. From January to November 2014 the number of minor and major injuries on the roads rose by 3.5 percent to 357,800.
The main differences between 2014 and 2013 were particularly stark in spring 2014 when the relatively large increase in injured two-wheel vehicle riders was the result of the comparatively mild weather. In the first six months of 2014, almost one-third more cyclists and motorcyclists lost their lives than during the same period in 2013.
In the second six months, however, considerably fewer injuries were recorded than in 2013. Since the group of fatally injured two-wheel riders is the second-largest group after car passengers, in addition to the continuous improvement in the safety standards of cars, greater attention must also be given to the group of two-wheel vehicle riders. Because this group must receive a different type of protection than car passengers, a whole different set of measures is required. Greater visibility in the dark using new lighting concepts is required for cyclists and work is also required to encourage them to improve their own protection, for example by wearing helmets.
The picture is similar on a European level. Over the last decade, the number of road deaths has fallen by almost 40 percent. The reasons for this include the continuous improvement of vehicle safety and the more restrictive implementation of national traffic law in various countries. This is supplemented by the steady expansion and renewal of the infrastructure in many European countries.