German traffic deaths fall to record low

24th February 2004, Comments 0 comments

24 February 2004, WIESBADEN - Germany recorded the fewest traffic deaths in the 50 years since it began compiling statistics last year despite record high numbers of vehicles on the roads, thanks to better safety standards - and better weather - officials reported Tuesday. The Federal Statistics Office in Wiesbaden said road deaths in 2003 totalled 6,604, down 3.4 percent from the year before. Persons injured in traffic accidents fell 2.9 percent to 462,600. The falloff came on a 1.5 percent drop in the nu

24 February 2004

WIESBADEN - Germany recorded the fewest traffic deaths in the 50 years since it began compiling statistics last year despite record high numbers of vehicles on the roads, thanks to better safety standards - and better weather - officials reported Tuesday.

The Federal Statistics Office in Wiesbaden said road deaths in 2003 totalled 6,604, down 3.4 percent from the year before. Persons injured in traffic accidents fell 2.9 percent to 462,600.

The falloff came on a 1.5 percent drop in the number of accidents recorded, to 2.25 million, and despite an all-time high of 44.7 million vehicles on Germany's roads.

The office began compiling figures for then post-war West Germany in 1953. In 1970, German road deaths hit an all-time high of 21,332, although at the time there were only 15.1 million cars on the road, or around one-third of the current level.

In figures going back to pre-war Germany, in 1936 the country saw 8,388 road deaths, with only 945,000 registered cars, the office report noted.

Officials at the Automobile Club of Germany (AvD) said that improved technical safety features such as seatbelts, airbags and electronic navigation systems have played a role in slashing the number of road deaths in Germany.

But the 2003 traffic figures may have also benefited from the weather, the AvD also noted, with last year having seen a mild winter and then a long dry spell lasting through most of the summer months and into the fall.

"There were hundreds of black ice and snow-related accidents in the years 2001 and 2002," AvD spokesman Johannes Huebner noted. In the summer last year, the good weather resulted in fewer deaths for motorcyclists.

 

DPA
Subject: German news

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