95 Norwegians died in traffic accidents in Norway last year, 82% of them were men

Traffic accidentPhoto: Ole Berg-Rusten / NTB
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For the first time since 1947, Norway has had less than 100 deaths in traffic in one year. But in 2020, the proportion of men who died in traffic increased to 82%. 

Last year, 95 people lost their lives in traffic in Norway, which is 13 fewer than the year before.

Minister of Transport and Communications Knut Arild Hareide (KrF / Christian Democratic party) characterizes the figures as historical, and he says the figure testifies that today’s roads are safer than ever.

“We still can’t be happy because we have a long way to go before the number is zero,” the Minister of Transport said.

“We know that for all the 95 who have died, there are relatives left who have experienced a great loss. My thoughts go to them,” Hareide said.

Road safety is working

Trygg Trafikk is also pleased that the number of fatalities in traffic is now below 100.

Director Jan Johansen of Trygg Trafikk is soberly optimistic and believes that the fact that Norway has managed to get under 100 fatalities shows that targeted traffic safety efforts are working.

“Nevertheless, we have a long way to go to reach the zero vision that no one should die or be seriously injured in traffic. We are dependent on continued political action,” Johansen said.

Concerned about the number of injured

The Norwegian Public Roads Administration believes that the development should provide motivation to increase efforts against accidents on Norwegian roads and points out that many people continue to be seriously injured on Norwegian roads.

“We have set ourselves ambitious goals. But unfortunately, we have not seen as sharp a downward curve for the seriously injured as we have for traffic fatalities. 

“In 2020, more than 500 people were seriously injured in traffic accidents. This is a big number that we take very seriously. 

“The fight against serious traffic accidents on Norwegian roads continues with undiminished vigor,” Road Administration director Ingrid Dahl Hovland said.

The Norwegian Public Roads Administration points out that the corona situation has changed driving patterns, which has probably affected the accident statistics.

Men on top again

It is once again men who excel most negatively on accident statistics. Out of those who died on Norwegian roads in 2020, 78 were men and 17 women. A total of 82% of the traffic victims were men.

Last year, 71% of traffic victims were men, which was in line with the average in recent years.

“Women are becoming increasingly safer road users. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said of men. 

“This was even clearer in 2020 than in previous years. There is no doubt that, among adult men, there is still a need for the most marked change in attitudes and behavior on the roads,” Johansen stated.

The statistics also show a clear decrease in the number of drivers and passengers who lost their lives. 

There were 54 people in a car who lost their lives in 2020, compared to 71 the year before.

“It is good that fewer people die behind the wheel or in the passenger seat. But at the same time, we must keep in mind that there are other road user groups where the development is not as good. 

“That is why it is more important than ever to work holistically with traffic safety work,” Johansen said.

Several motorcyclists died

While there were fewer car deaths, 2020 has been a gloomier year for motorcyclists. 

The group has registered a high level of deaths for many years, with around 20 fatal accidents a year. This has improved significantly in recent years.

“Therefore, it is very sad to see that the number of motorcycle deaths has increased by four people since the year before, and as many as six since 2018. There were 20 deaths in 2020. That is more than 20% of the fatal accidents last year,” Johansen pointed out.

Most of the fatal accidents occurred in the large county of Viken. It topped the statistics for the second year with 19 deaths, the same as the year before, while Innlandet and Vestfold follow with 17 and 14 deaths, respectively.

The two counties with the fewest traffic fatalities were Agder and Møre og Romsdal, with three traffic fatalities in each county. 

© NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today

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