The highest incidence of road fatalities in the European Union was recorded in rural regions, while Cyprus was where road fatalities per million inhabitants were above the EU average, according to Eurostat.
In 2020, there were 19,102 road fatalities, equivalent to 43 road fatalities per million inhabitants in the EU, and no less than 935,555 injuries on EU roads (excluding Ireland).
But 112 of 239 NUTS level 2 regions recorded an incidence of road fatalities below the EU average, while 123 (or 51.5% of all regions) had a value above; four regions had the same number of road fatalities per million inhabitants as the EU average.
In Cyprus, which is considered a single NUTS 2 region for statistics purposes, there were 54 road fatalities per million inhabitants in 2020.
Some of the highest incidence rates for road fatalities in 2020 were recorded in rural regions, with the highest incidence rates mostly located in Belgium, Bulgaria, Greece, outermost regions of France, Poland, and Romania.
Urban regions tended to report a much lower incidence of road fatalities.
This may be linked to lower average speeds. For example, built-up areas may have lower speed limits, while motorway networks in and around major conurbations may be frequently congested.
Road accident statistics include fatalities and injuries in vehicles in transit through a region, as well as fatalities and injuries of non-residents staying in a region.
As such, regions with transit corridors or regions with high numbers of visitors may experience a higher incidence of injuries and fatalities.
There were five NUTS level 2 regions with at least 100 road fatalities per million inhabitants.
The highest incidence was recorded in the southern Portuguese region of Alentejo (135 road fatalities per million inhabitants).
The other four regions included: two outermost regions of France – Guadeloupe (124) and Guyane (115); the Mazowiecki region that encircles the Polish capital region (123); and the southern Belgian region of Prov. Luxembourg (100).
There were 24 regions across the EU where road fatalities were less than 23 deaths per million inhabitants.
Two regions reported no road deaths: Valle d’Aosta/ Vallée d’Aoste in northern Italy and the relatively small island region of Åland in Finland.
Most of the 24 regions with relatively low fatality rates were predominantly urban areas, including 10 capital regions.
Leaving aside the two regions without fatalities, the next lowest incidence rates were recorded in the Swedish capital region of Stockholm (5 road fatalities per million inhabitants), the Austrian capital region of Wien (6), and the northern German region of Hamburg (8).