OECD Factbook 2013: Economic, Environmental and Social Statistics
branch Energy and Transportation
branch Transport
    branch Road fatalities

The number of road motor vehicles is high amongst member countries of the International Transport Forum and reducing road accidents is a concern for all governments. Such concern becomes more challenging with increasing needs for more mobility.


A road motor vehicle is a road vehicle fitted with an engine whence it derives its sole means of propulsion, and which is normally used for carrying persons or goods or for drawing, on the road, vehicles used for the carriage of persons or goods. They include buses, coaches, trolley buses, goods road vehicles and passenger road motor vehicles. Although tramways (street-cars) are rail borne vehicles they are integrated into the urban road network and considered as road motor vehicles.

Road fatality means any person killed immediately or dying within 30 days as a result of a road injury accident. Suicides involving the use of a road motor vehicle are excluded.


Road motor vehicles are attributed to the countries where they are registered while deaths are attributed to the countries in which they occur.

Fatalities per million inhabitants can be compared with other causes of death in a country (heart diseases, cancer, HIV, etc.) however when comparing countries road fatality risks, this indicator looses it relevance if countries do not have the same level of motorisation. Fatalities per vehicle-kilometre provides a better measure of fatality risk on road networks, but there is currently no harmonisation in the methodology to calculate distances travelled, and not all countries collect this indicator.

The numbers of vehicles entering the existing stock is usually accurate, but information on the numbers of vehicles withdrawn from use is less certain. Shown here are the numbers of road fatalities per million inhabitants and the number of road fatalities per million inhabitants and per million vehicles.


The first ten years of the 21st century saw record road safety performance in most countries of the International Transport Forum (ITF). Following two consecutive years of record improvements in 2008 and 2009, the number of people killed in crashes continued to fall in 2010 recording a drop of 6% in 2010 in ITF member countries (excluding China and India). In 2010 only 4 ITF countries reported an increase of people killed on the roads. These positive developments should not hide the economic costs and human tragedies behind the data. While high-income countries look back on a record decade in reducing road fatalities, 90% of global road deaths occur in low and middle income countries and estimates put annual world road fatalities above 1.3 million, with 50 million serious injuries.



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Road fatalities
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Road fatalities Figure in Excel
Road fatalities
Road fatalities Figure in Excel
Road fatalities

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