While the COVID 19 pandemic has led to an appalling loss of life around the world from the illness, the corresponding reduction in traffic has resulted in a drop in road deaths in many countries. Data from countries such as the Czech Republic, Hungary, Laos and Turkey shows a notable drop in road deaths for 2020 due to the lower traffic volumes arising from the pandemic.
The drop in road fatalities in the Czech Republic during 2020 was of particular note, falling to the lowest levels since these statistics were first collected in 1961. There were 460 road deaths in the country in 2020, a reduction of 87%. Meanwhile, serious injuries from road crashes also dropped to 1,807 for 2020, compared with 2,110 in 2019. Overall, there were 94,794 road crashes in the Czech Republic in 2020, a reduction of 12% compared with the figure for 2019.
In 2020 there were 450 road fatalities in Hungary during 2020, a drop of 150 compared to 2019. Serious road crashes resulting in injuries fell 17% from 2019 to 13,745 in 2020. The data was compiled by Hungary’s national police department ORFK, also highlighting a 20% drop in road crashes involving fatalities.
In Laos there were 1,031 road deaths in 2020, compared with 1,134 in 2019. Drunk driving and speeding were the two primary factors in serious crashes in Laos during 2020. Of note is that the number of crashes increased in 2020 to 6,774 compared with 6,616 in 2019. But the seriousness of the crashes declined, resulting in the lower fatality levels noted.
Turkey’s road crash figures dropped to 365,000 in 2020, compared with 1.1 million in 2019. Meanwhile, road deaths in the country fell to just 2,200, while there were 228,000 serious injuries in road crashes, a significant drop compared with the figures in 2019.