Worst in Europe: Car accidents cost Poland billions a year

The horrific costs of Polish road accidents

editor: REMIX NEWS
author: Piotr Kozanecki
via: onet.pl

Poland lost €1.31 billion due to road accidents in 2018, which amounts to 2.7 percent of the Polish GDP, according to the report of the National Council for Traffic Security (KRBRD).

Since 2015 the number of casualties in car accidents has remained steady at about 3,000, instead of decreasing as it has in the past.

In 2018, 803 pedestrians died in road accidents and the total number of fatalities reached 2,862 persons, almost eight people per day. This is one of the worst results in the European Union per one million inhabitants.

It is even worse when calculated for fatalities for every billion kilometers traveled, leaving Poland coming in dead last with a 14.6 index compared to the 5.8 average in the EU.

According to preliminary data for the first half of 2019, 1,176 people died in road accidents compared to 1,011 in the first half of 2018. Everything points to an increase in fatalities in 2019 and an excess of 3,000 deaths in total.

The chart below shows the number of road accidents, wounded and fatalities between 2009 and 2018:

The number of accidents, wounded and fatalities have been decreasing steadily until 2015 when it plateaued.

The reason for this is unknown, but the law has changed since then, which now forbids municipalities from placing speed trap cameras in their regions. Experts are unsure if the law change has played any significant role in the number of accidents.

Apart from the human price, there is also the cost the accidents bear on society, as each event involves the work of different sectors of public services, such as the police, firefighters and emergency services.

The unit costs of road accidents and collisions in 2018 are as follows:

  • Unit cost of a fatality: €1.01 million
  • Unit cost of a heavily wounded victim: €1.4 million
  • Unit cost of a lightly wounded victim: €20,400
  • Unit cost of a road accident: €594,000
  • Unit cost of a road collision: €11,300

According to the KRBRD report, as Poland develops as an economy and a society, improvements in road security have not been able to keep up.


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