Multi-Country, Statistical

 

Road Crash Data

 

2004

 

 

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Multi-Country Per Capita and VMT/VKmT Fatality Data for 2004

 

Page first published on September 3, 2005, and last updated on October 16, 2005. 

 

Edited by Eddie Wren

 

 

 

 OECD  Pos'n

a

Per Capita Death Rate (2004) b

 

Country

c

Number of  Deaths, 2004

Trend in Number of Deaths

Population (millions)

  d

VMT/VKmT Rate (2003)

e

  1

--

    3.25 n

Malta

         13 f

- 18.8% f

       0.4

 

  2

  1

    4.93

Netherlands

       804 f

- 21.8% f

     16.3

    7.7

  3

  2

    5.33

Sweden

       480 f

-   9.3% f

       9.0

    8.3

  4

  3

    5.34

United Kingdom

    3,221 h

-   7.9% f

     60.3

    7.5

  5

  4

    5.59

Norway

       257 f

-   8.2% f

       4.6

    8.3

  6

  5

    5.76

Japan

    7,358 l

- 17.11%

    127.7

  11.2

  7

  6

    6.83

Denmark

       369 f

- 14.6% f

       5.4

    9.7

  8

  7

    6.85

Switzerland

       510 f

-   6.6% f

       7.45

    8.8

  9

  8

    7.09

Germany

    5,842 f

- 11.7% f

     82.4

    9.7

10

  9

    7.21

Finland

       375 f

-   1.1% f

       5.2

    7.6

11

10

    7.67

Iceland

         23 f

       0% f

       0.3

  16.0

12

11

    7.75

FYR Macedonia

       155 f

+31.4% f

       2.0

 

13

12

    7.94

Australia

    1,596 i

-   1.5% i

     20.1

    8.0

14

--

    8.33

India c

  90,000 q

 

 1,080.3

  

15

13

    8.56

Canada

     2730 t

-   1.7%

     31.9

    8.9

16

14

    8.67

France

    5,232 f

-   8.7% f

     60.4

  10.9

17

--

    8.82

Serbia and Montenegro

       953 f

+11.1% f

     10.8

 

18

--

    8.82

Lebanon c

       397

 

       4.5

 

19

--

    9.0

Albania

       315 f

+21.2% f

       3.5

 

20

15

  10.74

New Zealand

       436 j

-    5.0%

       4.06

  12.4

21

--

    9.20

Moldova

       405 f

-   4.7% f

       4.4

 

22

16

    9.48

Ireland

       379 f

+13.1% f

       4.0

  10.9

23

--

  10.27

Azerbaijan

       811 f

+12.0% f

       7.9

 

24

17

  10.65

Luxembourg

         49 f

-   7.6% f

       0.46

 

25

18

  10.71

Austria

       878 f

-   5.7% f

       8.2

  11.7

26

19

  10.81

Portugal

    1,135 f

- 16.3% f

     10.5

 

27

20

  11.26

Slovak Republic

       608 f

-   6.9% f

       5.4

  46.9

28

21

 

Italy g

 

 

     58.0

 

29

22

  11.79

Spain

    4,751 f

- 12.2% f

     40.3

 

30

--

  12.57

Bulgaria

       943 f

-   1.8% f

       7.5

 

31

23

  12.96

Hungary

    1,296 f

-   2.3% f

     10.0

 

32

24

  -(13)-

Turkey

    4,428 f

- 11.7% f

     68.9

 

33

--

  13.08

Estonia

       170 f

+  3.7% f

       1.3

 

34

--

  13.51

Croatia

       608 f

- 13.3% f

       4.5

 

35

25

  13.55

Czech Republic

    1,382 f

-   4.5% f

     10.2

  31.7

36

--

  13.55

Georgia

       637 f

+11.4% f

       4.7

 

37

--

  13.7

Slovenia

       274 f

+13.2% f

       2.0

  16.7

38

26

 

Belgium g

 

 

     10.3

  16.3

39

--

  14.51

Ukraine c

    6,966 f

-   2.5% f

     48.0

 

40

27

  14.53

USA

  42,636 m

-  0.58%

   293.5

    9.4 m

41

28

 

Republic of Korea g

 

 

     48.1

  26.0

42

29

  14.80

Poland

    5,712 f

+  1.3% f

     38.6

 

43

30

  15.27

Greece

    1,619 f

+  0.3% f

     10.6

  26.7

44

--

 

Belarus g

 

 

     10.3

 

45

--

  17.42

Romania

    2,418 f

+  8.2% f

     22.4

 

46

--

  19.07

Qatar

       164 p

 

      0.86 (05)

 

47

--

  20.89

Lithuania

       752 f

+  6.1% f

       3.6

 

48

--

  21.04

Malaysia s  

     6223 s

 

     23.9  (05)

 

49

--

  22.43

Latvia

       516 f

+  4.7% f

       2.3

 

50

--

  24.01

Russian Federation

  34,506 f

-   3.1% f

   143.7

 

51

--

  38.7

Iran

  26,280 o

 

     68.0 (05)

 

52

--

  (8.26)

China c r

(107,077 k)

 

1,296.5

 

 

See a 15-year history of per capita death rates for the (now) 30 member countries of the OECD, including the USA

 

We also have tables showing: the 2003 per capita data for all 50 American states

and: Multi-Country Per Capita Fatality Data for 2003

 

DSA Comments

     It must be remembered that there are three primary measures for comparing multi-national crash and fatality data: the deaths per 100,000 population or per capita rate, deaths in relation to overall distance travelled (known in the USA as the VMT rate), and deaths in relation to the number of registered motor vehicles in the country (the latter of which is not shown at all in the above table). All three measures should be considered when comparing disparate countries but using just one of these methods is generally acceptable when comparing countries of similar status (e.g. "highly motorised countries" [HMCs], developed nations, third world countries, etc.).

     As a result, some countries in the above table may appear to present bizarre results, either because -- like China, for example -- they have a very high death toll but this is offset by a huge population, or they simply have, say, a very low proportion of motor vehicles per head of population -- such as Brunei, that was at the head of the DSA per capita table for 2003.

     There is also the question of how, exactly, a traffic fatality is defined in any particular country. Some may only include deaths at the scene, whereas others will stipulate deaths within 24 hours or one week but the growing norm would now appear to be deaths within 30 days of the crash.

     In some cases, above, the data for the number of deaths simply cannot be relied upon as being accurate. In Turkey, for example, the national press state that over 9,000 people are killed in road crashes each year, and yet each year data is published by that country giving a much lower body count.

 

 

It is worth mention that many individuals in the USA dismiss the per capita rate as unimportant and claim that as America is a huge country and journeys can be extremely long, only the VMT rate (or VKmT equivalent) is important. Yet only a little thought would suggest that this is a fallacious approach. The vast distances that allegedly support this argument are primarily undertaken on the very type of roads that are known to be the safest -- divided highways (known elsewhere as dual carriageways). Over half of all people killed on America's roads die in crashes on rural roads, and this would seem to suggest that the argument favoring the VMT rate to the exclusion of all others is not valid.

 

 

Footnotes and Sources

  1. Applies only to the thirty member-countries of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development [OECD], as listed in the International Road Traffic and Accident Database (which was only updated from 2002 to 2003 during July 2005).  This therefore gives a guide to the generally more developed nations, between which comparisons may be somewhat more valid.  Most of the data posted here have not been prepared from data supplied by IRTAD and must not be taken as being official IRTAD results;

  2. The per capita rate represents the number of deaths for each 100,000 members of the population;

  3. Countries marked c are new to the DSA list this year;

  4. Population figures are actually July 2004, sourced from the CIA World Factbook, or simply '2004', sourced from the World Bank, except where shown otherwise;

  5. In the USA, the measure used is deaths per 100 million Vehicle Miles Traveled (VMT). Elsewhere it is deaths per one billion vehicle kilometres travelled and it is this latter, more widely-used measure that is applied in the above table. The data given in the column in question is all for 2003.  Source: International Road Traffic and Accident Database (OECD) The 2004 figure for the USA (with American spelling) is 9.07 deaths per one billion vehicle kilometers traveled (1.46 VMT);

  6. Source: 'Preliminary Data on Road Safety in Europe in 2004' (European Conference of Ministers of Transport) issued on September 1, 2005;

  7. No data yet located but in the interim these countries are positioned roughly where we expect them to appear in order of per capita ratings;

  8. UK Department for Transport, June 2005;

  9. Source:  'Road Deaths in 2004 Amongst Lowest Since 1950' Press Release L7/05, from the Minister for Local Government, Territories and Roads; 24 January, 2005;

  10. The Social Report 2005, Ministry of Social Development, New Zealand Government;

  11. Official figure from the Chinese Government, but the WHO estimates a far higher figure;

  12. Source:  The Japan Times, January 28, 2005:  'Road injuries hit record high in 2004' ('The NPA attributed the decline to fewer cases of drunk driving, following the enforcement of a tougher drunk driving law, and greater use of seat belts.')

  13. Source:  Press Release: 'DOT Announces Record Low Highway Fatality Rate in 2004', August 1, 2005. [See also the DSA response to this press release:  'US Highway Safety Targets and Achievements are Far Too Low' ]. In addition, the US 2004 'VMT ['Vehicle Miles Travelled'] rate of deaths, of 1.46, may be converted to the much more commonly used deaths-per-one-billion-vehicle-kilometers by multiplying the US figure by 6.215, which gives a 2004 rate of 9.07;

  14. '...Minister Jesmond Mugliett said Malta today has one of the highest levels of motorization in Europe, with 680 motor vehicles registered for every 1,000 inhabitants. Although the country nevertheless has the lowest per capita fatality rate in Europe, with 40 road traffic-related deaths per million, the statistic can be misleading since the fatality rate per kilometre travelled is still higher than the European average, given the relatively short trips that one can travel on the island...'  from the article 'Increasing Road Safety is Tantamount to Saving Lives', published by di-ve, in Malta, on 7 September, 2005;

  15. Article: 'Road accident toll highest in world: Iran official', from Iran Mania, London; September 14, 2005;

  16. Article: '8,000 road deaths in Gulf last year', from the Gulf Times; 19 September, 2005;

  17. Article: 'Ten Percent of World's Road Deaths in India', from the New Kerala; 28 September, 2005 (though from the figures given by the Institution of Engineers (India), DSA would suggest that the 'ten percent' should actually read 7.5 percent');

  18. It has been alleged that the road-death toll in China is vastly higher than the official number given, hence the reason for it being posted at the bottom of the DSA list;

  19. Article: 'Steps to Reduce Road Deaths', from the New Straits Times; 15 October, 2005. The article related to the aim of reducing the rate of deaths per 10,000 registered motor vehicles, from 8.4 in 1996, through the current 4.5 to a target of 2, by 2010;

  20. Science Daily; January 7, 2006.