The latest data released by ISTAT shows that road accidents, after the pandemic, are decreasing. Indeed, in the first half of 2023, claims recorded a reduction of 5.4% compared to 2019 and 1.0% compared to 2022, while claims decreased by 9.0% and 0.9% respectively. %.

However, according to the UN, approximately one million 300 thousand people die on the roads every year, and more than 50 million are seriously injured. Jean Todt, special envoy for road safety of the United Nations Secretariat, likened the accident to a “silent pandemic.”

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In all cases, the accident rate must be analyzed based on the data, in order to avoid a perception of the phenomenon based on personal convictions rather than on objective elements.

According to ISTAT, accidents decreased after the pandemic

ISTAT has disclosed consolidated data until 2022, while for 2023 it has only published an estimate, limited to the first half of the year. For Giordano Biserni, president of the Association of Sympathizers and Friends of the Traffic Police, there was “a resurgence in 2022 compared to 2021 in terms of deaths, injuries and accidents”, events which for him in 2023 are likely to multiply.

However, accidents have decreased since the pandemic, so much so that an increase in 2022 does not emerge from a comparison with previous years, characterized by similar traffic volumes. In this regard, the years 2020 and 2021 cannot be used for statistical purposes, due to the lower number of vehicles in circulation due to containment measures linked to COVID-19.

Indeed, compared to 2022, there were more accidents in 2019 (+3.7%) and 2018 (+3.9%), as well as more injuries (+7.4% in 2019 and + 8.0% in 2018). Same situation for deaths, with +0.4% in 2019 compared to 2022.

An increase which, as already anticipated, does not even appear if we compare the first half of 2023 with the similar period of 2022. Furthermore, the decline after the pandemic is not only in accidents and injuries, but also in victims, stands at -9.8% in 2023 compared to 2019, while -2.5% compared to 2022.

Accidents must be halved by 2030

As requested by the European Commission, by 2030, deaths and serious injuries must be halved, and by 2050, they will be eliminated. Of reports Published on March 8 by the aforementioned Commission, it appears that around 20,400 people died on European roads in 2023 (-1% compared to 2022). Furthermore, Italy recorded a rate of 52 deaths for every million inhabitants, compared to 54 in 2022.

Road accidents down compared to before the pandemic.  Group of people discussing how to avoid accidents (photo by Annie Spratt of Unsplash)

We must emphasize awareness-raising initiatives to combat accidents (photo by Annie Spratt from Unsplash)

Although the data shows a decrease in accidents compared to the period before the pandemic, every road accident represents a failure for the community. It will therefore be necessary to persist in social awareness actions and police checks to achieve the objective of halving the accident rate by 2030.

In issue 3 of our What Now magazine we devoted an in-depth analysis of the positive data relating to the reduction in accidents and the strategies implemented to reduce them further. You can browse it digitally or purchase it in catalog form on Amazon.

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