Traffic volume and fatality rates are partly linked to changes in economic growth. But we can clearly see that road deaths have continued to decrease despite a steady rise in traffic. The chart shows the growth in traffic volume (blue) and recorded traffic fatalities (yellow) from 1950 to the present day.
There are other positive effects. Fatalities involving pedestrians in Sweden have fallen by almost 50% in the last five years. The number of children killed in traffic accidents has also been decreased. In 2008 ten months went by before there was a fatal road accident involving a child. As tragic as this is, it is a huge improvement. However there is still so much more we can do to improve road safety. In Sweden, we could cut the death toll by a further 90% if we could eliminate technical system failures, failure to wear seat belts, speeding and drink driving – from 5 deaths per 100,000 to 0.5. This is what the Vision Zero is about: looking forward and creating strategies to take safety to new levels.
Every nation, of course, has its own set of issues to address in regards to road safety. Specific conditions might differ from those in Sweden, but we believe that the will to protect the lives and health of men, women and children is a universal one. The Vision Zero Initiative offers you access to the experience and knowledge of those involved in Swedish road safety.