The safest and most dangerous countries to drive in for European travellers

Figurines on European map with car

New research has revealed the most dangerous European countries to drive in, with Romania coming out on top.

The study by Vignetteswitzerland.com analysed the latest data from the European Transport Safety Council to see which countries had the highest road deaths per million inhabitants.

It found that Romania is statistically the most dangerous country to drive in in Europe. 2022 shows that the country had 85.81 deaths per million inhabitants, the highest of any country in the study. However, this is a 10.26% drop from 2012, which saw 95.62 deaths per million inhabitants.

Serbia comes second on the list, with the south-eastern European country coming in with 82.65 road deaths per million inhabitants. Compared to 2012 data, this is a drop of 13.01% from when the country had 95.01 road deaths per million inhabitants.

Coming in third place is the Balkan nation Bulgaria, which comes in with 77.64 road deaths per million inhabitants. It has the most minor change in road deaths out of the top ten, only seeing a drop of 6.02% since 2012, with 82.62 road deaths per million inhabitants.

Croatia takes fourth place on the list, with 71.20 road deaths per million inhabitants in the 2022 data. This is a 22.53% drop from 2012 when the country had 91.91 road deaths per million inhabitants.

Rounding out the top five is Portugal, which comes in with 62.30 road deaths per million inhabitants. This is an 8.53% drop from the 2012 data, which had 68.11 road deaths per million inhabitants.

The most dangerous European countries to drive in

RankCountryRoad deaths per mln inhabitants (2012)Road deaths per mln inhabitants (2022)Percentage change 2012-2022
1Romania95.6285.81-10.26%
2Serbia95.0182.65-13.01%
3Bulgaria82.6277.64-6.02%
4Croatia91.9171.20-22.53%
5Portugal68.1162.30-8.53%
6Greece87.5160.71-30.63%
7Latvia86.6960.24-30.51%
8Luxembourg64.7855.78-13.89%
9Hungary60.7655.22-9.12%
10Italy61.7153.70-12.97%

The study also found that Norway is statistically the safest country to drive in in Europe. 2022 shows that the country only had 21.38 deaths per million inhabitants, the lowest of any European country. Compared to 2012 data, this is a 26.48% drop from across the decade, with 2012 having 29.08 deaths per million inhabitants.

Sweden comes second on the list of safest countries, with just 21.72 road deaths per million inhabitants. Compared to 2012 data, this is a drop of 27.74% from when the country had 30.05 road deaths per million inhabitants.

Coming in third place is the United Kingdom, which comes in with 25.89 road deaths per million inhabitants. The change in road deaths is less significant than other entries on the list, with a drop of just 9.51% from 2012, where road deaths sat at 28.61 per million inhabitants.

Denmark takes fourth place, with 26.22 road deaths per million inhabitants in the 2022 data. This is a 12.38% drop from 2012 when the country had 29.93 road deaths per million inhabitants.

Rounding out the top five is Switzerland, which comes in with 27.58 road deaths per million inhabitants. This is a 35.29% drop from the 2012 data, the most of the top ten safest countries, with 42.62 road deaths per million inhabitants.

The safest European countries to drive in

RankCountryRoad deaths per mln inhabitants (2012)Road deaths per mln inhabitants (2022)Percentage change 2012-2022
1Norway29.0821.38-26.48%
2Sweden30.0521.72-27.74%
3United Kingdom28.6125.89-9.51%
4Denmark29.9326.22-12.38%
5Switzerland42.6227.58-35.29%
6Republic of Ireland35.5730.83-13.32%
7Germany44.0033.35-24.20%
8Finland47.2134.43-27.08%
9Israel37.8236.61-3.18%
10Spain41.1937.08-9.98%

Commenting on the findings, M. E.Wijnmalen, CEO of Vignetteswitzerland.com, said: “With how connected Europe is, and how easy it is to travel from one country into another, it’s important to keep knowledge of the driving conditions in each country you travel to. Many factors can affect these conditions, such as road quality, driving laws or even changes in speed limits that can influence the risk you run of simply just being on the road.”

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