Road traffic accidents

Record low in traffic fatalities in the first half of 2021; historic maximum in cyclist casualties

In the first half of 2021, 151 people were killed and 17 585 people were injured in road traffic accidents in Austria according to Statistics Austria. The number of road fatalities was thus lower than in any other first half of the past 60 years. Even in the "Corona year" 2020, the number was slightly higher (first half of 2020: 152 killed, first half of 2019: 196 killed). In contrast, the number of cyclists injured or killed in accidents peaked at just over 4 000.

Lockdown effects visible in newest accident figures

In April 2021, during the "hard lockdown" in Vienna and Lower Austria, the number of people injured or killed in accidents fell by 37% in both provinces compared to April 2019, i.e. compared to the pre-crisis level. In the remaining federal states, where only "lockdowns light" were imposed, the decreases were between 7% and 30%. In contrast, in the "lockdown-free" June 2021, the number of casualties rose sharply to 5 338, the highest since 2007.

New high in cyclist casualties

After record numbers of cyclist casualties in 2020, this trend continued: In the first half of 2021, 4 079 cyclists were injured or killed in road traffic accidents, the highest figure in the past 30 years (first half of 2020: 3 640, first half of 2019: 3 352 persons). Of these 4 079 cyclist casualties, 23 were killed (first half 2020: 17 deaths, first half 2019: 16 deaths). This means that 15% of all people killed in road traffic accidents were riding a bicycle, which is also the highest proportion in the past 30 years (first half of 2020: 11%, first half of 2019: 8%). 61% of the cyclists who were killed in accidents, 14 people, were riding an e-bike.

The average age of e-bike riders injured or killed in accidents was 50 years, with this falling steadily in recent years from 58 years in the first half of 2018 to 54 years in the first half of 2020. In comparison, the average age of non-powered cyclists injured or killed in accidents was 44 years in the first half of 2021.

44% of cyclists injured or killed in accidents in the first half of 2021 were due to single-vehicle accidents. In addition to the six cyclists killed in single-vehicle accidents, a further seven cyclists were responsible for their respective accident. Thus, a total of 57% of the cyclists killed were the main originator of the accident.

257 riders of bicycles who were involved in road traffic accidents were under the influence of alcohol in the first half of 2021. This means that 5.8% of all cyclists involved in an accident were intoxicated by alcohol; for e-bikes, the proportion was even higher at 7.6%. The percentage was thus significantly higher than for other types of traffic units (passenger cars: 3.8%, motorbikes: 1.7%).

Fewer deaths and injuries in road accidents in 2020; inappropriate speed number one cause of fatal accidents

Due to the lower traffic volume during the corona-related lockdowns from March to May and in November and December 2020, road traffic accidents with personal injury in Austria decreased significantly: 38 074 people were injured or killed in road traffic accidents in 2020, according to Statistics Austria. This represents a decrease of 16% or 7 482 people compared to 2019 (45 556).

Lockdowns had a significant influence on the occurrence of accidents

The number of injuries and fatalities fell significantly, especially during the "hard" lockdowns: Between 16 March and 26 April 2020, the number of casualties and fatalities fell by 61% compared to the average value for the same period of the past three years; between 16 November and 6 December 2020, the number of casualties fell by 47%. Also during the "light" lockdowns – in April/May as well as in November/December – the number of people involved in accidents decreased significantly, namely by about 30% (27.4.–31.5.: -32%; 2.11.–15.11.: -29%, 7.12.–27.12.: -28%). In contrast, in August and September 2020 (calendar weeks 32 to 39), there was an increase of 6% in injuries and fatalities compared to the average value of the years 2017 to 2019 (see chart).

Inappropriate speed was the main cause of fatal accidents in 2020

A total of 344 people were fatally injured in road accidents in 2020. The number of fatalities decreased by 17% compared to the previous year and was significantly below 400 for the first time. The main cause of fatal road accidents in 2020 was inappropriate speed, which killed 110 people (2019: 103, 2018: 98). This is 32% of all fatally injured people, which is significantly higher than in 2018 (24%) and 2019 (25%). Between 16 March and 31 May 2020, the proportion even rose to 39% (mean 2017–2019: 25%), 23 people were fatally injured during this period caused by inappropriate speed.

Highest number of single-vehicle accidents in the last 30 years

139 people died in single-vehicle accidents on Austria's roads in 2020. This means that in 40% of all fatalities no other road user was involved in the accident apart from possible passengers. In general, the share of single-vehicle accidents also increased in 2020, namely by 5 percentage points to a share of 36% of the total accidents (2019: 31%), reaching the highest value in almost 30 years. While the proportion of cars in single-vehicle accidents halved from 62% to 30% during this period, the proportion of bicycles tripled from 11% to 39%. In 2020, the proportion of bicycle accidents in single-vehicle accidents rose by 8 percentage points (2019: 31%). For the first time, bicycles are the dominant mode of transport in single-vehicle accidents.

Never before so many injured cyclists

For almost all road users, a decrease in the number of injured or fatally injured persons was recorded in 2020. Only the number of injured or fatally injured cyclists rose in 2020, by 14%. This corresponds to an increase of three injured or fatally injured cyclists per day. In the last 30 years, there were never as many cyclists injured as in 2020.

Accidents, people injured and killed by federal states 2011 to 2020
Drink drive accidents, people injured and killed by federal states 2011 to 2020
Road accidents involving children (aged 0-14 years) by federal states 2011 to 2020

Chart road accidents 2020

Road Traffic AccidentsPrice in € *)Free Download

 
 

Straßenverkehrsunfälle 2020
Road traffic accidents 2020 The subject of this publication is the statistics on road traffic accidents with persons injured in Austria, which have been compiled and published by Statistics ...

Release date: 06/2021 ISBN:978-3-903264-90-8

 
 

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Straßenverkehrsunfälle 2019
The subject of this publication is the statistics on road traffic accidents with persons injured in Austria, which have been compiled and published by Statistics Austria since 1961. The objective ...

Release date: 06/2020 ISBN:978-3-903264-49-6

 
 

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