Traffic deaths in Germany fall to all-time low
Traffic fatalities have been falling in Germany in recent years, but thanks in large part to the coronavirus pandemic, they are likely to hit a record low in 2021.
Approximately 2.450 people killed on German roads in 2021
The number of people killed while driving in Germany is expected to reach a low for the year of 2021. According to an estimate from the Federal Statistical Office (Destatis), the total number of traffic fatalities in 2021 will likely be around 2.450, and accordingly “the lowest level since records began more than 65 years ago.”
The number has been calculated from the available data from January to September 2021. If the estimate proves to be correct, it would mark a significant drop even from last year’s record low of 2.719 fatalities. “The declines [in the two previous years] are largely due to the significantly lower traffic volume compared to 2019 as a result of the pandemic,” Destatis explained.
In total, there were an estimated 2,2 million accidents on Germany’s roads in 2021, a drop of around 8 percent compared to 2020. Nonetheless, the figures still mean that an average of nearly seven deaths and more than 800 injuries are recorded by police and other emergency services every day on roads in Germany.
German roads are not safer, experts criticise
Indeed, some experts have emphasised that the figures do not mean that driving has become safer. Siegfried Brockmann, head of the accident research arm of the General Association of the German Insurance Industry (GDV), has criticised the fact that Germany’s new government did not even touch on the topic of road safety in its coalition agreement.
A number of experts have spoken out in favour of a speed limit on the German autobahn to increase safety and protect the environment - a policy the Green party was in favour of - but under pressure from the FDP party, this point was not included in the coalition agreement.
Brockmann suggested that the extent to which speed limits on motorways increase safety should at least be scientifically investigated. He further pointed out that the coalition has not yet discussed the implications of the legalisation of recreational cannabis on the German transport sector.