According to preliminary statistics from the Ministry of the Interior (BMI), 369 people were killed in accidents on Austrian roads in 2022. In 2020 and 2021 alone, 344 and 362 fewer people died on the road, respectively, it said on Sunday. That’s the third-lowest figure since records began in 1950. However, the number of children under the age of 14 who died at age 14 was twice as high as in 2021, when there were six.
“Sad and an order to politicians to quickly implement increased road safety measures,” said VCÖ spokesman Christian Gratzer in this regard. The number of road deaths again exceeded the national road safety program target for 2020 of less than 312 road deaths.
No fatalities in wrong-way driver accidents
The number of pedestrians also rose from four in 2021 to 14 in the previous year, while no road user was killed in road accidents involving wrong-way drivers in 2022, but three in 2021.
Number of registered vehicles tripled
The two “corona years” 2020 and 2021 showed the lowest balance, compared to the negative record from 1972, which saw 2948 deaths according to accident statistics, the current number fell to about one-eighth of the number at that time. According to the BMI, this overall positive trend is due to measures such as traffic education, road safety advice and monitoring, the number of registered vehicles has almost tripled from 2.5 million to 7.3 million in the same period.
“Race Pack” against Roadrunner is coming
Interior Minister Gerhard Karner (ÖVP) recalled a new “Raserpaket” on road safety measures currently being discussed in the National Council, which “is an important step in decisive action against the roadrunner scene”. “In the coming year we will also pay attention to safety for cyclists and pedestrians. Bicycle traffic in particular has increased significantly in recent years and therefore requires special attention,” says Karner.
Big differences in the states
At the federal state level, there are major differences in the development compared to last year’s casualty balance, because while in 2022 the 19 road fatalities in Burgenland more than doubled compared to the previous year, when there were eight, the number in Carinthia almost halved and fell from 38 to 21. Declines were also recorded in Upper Austria (80 compared to 92 in 2021) and Salzburg (19/24).
In 2022 Salzburg also recorded the lowest number of road deaths in 60 years together with Carinthia (21/38). In addition to the increase in fatal accidents in Burgenland, Lower Austria (97/92), Styria (70/50), Vorarlberg (16/13) and Vienna (18/16) also had a negative balance compared to the previous year, the number remained unchanged near Tyrol (29/29).
Of the 369 fatal traffic accidents, 179 involved car occupants, 55 motorcyclists, 49 pedestrians, 40 cyclists (50 percent with pedelecs), 21 truck occupants (of which 18 in small trucks) and eight moped riders. The number of killed car and truck occupants and pedestrians increased.
Carelessness is the main cause of accidents
When it comes to the suspected main causes of fatal traffic accidents, carelessness or distraction (25.6 percent), inappropriate driving speed (22.7 percent) and violation of right of way (19.8 percent) continue to make up the majority. Most fatal accidents occur on former national roads (130 fatalities), provincial roads (114) and other roads (91); the 34 deaths on motorways and expressways account for 9.2 percent of all road deaths.
More than a third of all road deaths (152 or 41.2 percent) were 60 years or older at the time of the accident, 52 of them (14.1 percent of all road deaths) were even older than 80 years. In the 17 to 29 age group, there were 62 people (16.8 percent of all road fatalities) and about every fourth fatal road accident (83 or 24.1 percent) was caused by foreigners.
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