Road mortality: the first contrasting assessment of 2021

In 2021, according to a provisional report from the interministerial road safety observatory, 2,947 people lost their lives on French roads. This is a result down 9% compared to 2019, the year before the pandemic.

In 2020, thanks to the months of confinement, the number of deaths was at its lowest. It should be noted that the circulation of 2021 has not yet been at a normal level. Many factors played a role: the curfew, a third confinement in the spring, teleworking or even the prolonged closure of nightclubs.

The number of accidents has only fallen by 4%, to 53,620. And it has been noted that as the year progresses, with the gradual resumption of traffic, the mortality figures have been less good. In December, there were also 296 killed, 12 more than in 2019.

The results are also contrasted when taking into account the type of road users. For motorists, clearly fewer in number with teleworking, the drop is above average, with a decline of 13% compared to 2019. They represent almost half of the deaths (1,411).

It is also encouraging for motorized two-wheelers, with a decline of 10.5% (672 deaths). Good point also for pedestrians, with – 14%. The curfew on the first half is certainly not foreign to it, many accidents with pedestrians taking place at nightfall.

On the other hand, the results are alarming for cyclists. 226 of them died on the roads in 2021, 39 more than in 2019. This is the first time in 20 years that the 200 mark has passed. Outside urban areas, the mortality of cyclists soars by 35%.

These results illustrate the more widespread use of green means of transport. According to the Vélos&Territoires association, cycling increased by +14% in rural areas, by +20% in peri-urban areas and by +31% in urban areas in 2021 compared to 2019. Also note the 22 deaths with EDPm (Personal Motorized Transport Devices), such as electric scooters. There were 10 in 2019.

The health crisis can also explain the drop in mortality among seniors: 446 killed over the age of 75, or 86 less compared to 2019. These people seem to go out less during the pandemic. On the other hand, under-18 mortality increased, with 183 killed, 30 more than in 2019.

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