Roads in six Greek regional units rank among EU’s most deadly


eKathimerini — Six of Greece’s 74 regional units rank near the top of the European Union’s list of areas with the highest number of fatalities from road accidents.

Western Greece comes in fifth place among its EU peers and first among Greek regions, with 124 deaths per million residents in 2015. The Southern Aegean follows in sixth place with 119 deaths per million residents, then the Peloponnese in eighth place with 108 per million, Crete and Central Greece share 23rd place with 95 deaths per million each and Epirus is in 26th place with 94 per million.

Despite the fact that up until 2015 there had been a steady reduction in road deaths across the country, last year was the first to see a fresh spike.

Crete recorded an increase in road accident fatalities in the period when the rest of the country was seeing a decline, with 54 dead in 2011, 57 in 2012 and 66 in 2013. Fatalities on Crete dipped in 2015 to 62 and came to 65 last year.

The total number of fatal road accidents in 2016 came to 752, costing 804 lives, against 746 accidents and 796 fatalities in 2015.

According to the data published by Eurostat, the EU’s statistical office, the regions with the lowest road death rates are mainly located in Western and Northern Europe, and those with the highest in the east and south.

A reliable public transportation system and a good-quality road network are instrumental in curbing road accidents and fatalities, Eurostat’s analysts noted.

The study also notes that cities with a lot of traffic congestion tend to have fewer road deaths because vehicles cannot move at high speeds, while high fatality rates are observed in countries with sparser and not very well developed national road networks, such as Romania, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Bulgaria, Poland, the Baltic states and Greece.