Urgent review promised after serious traffic accidents surge in Switzerland
New data from the Federal Roads Office (ASTRA) has reported a significant increase in the number of road accidents in Switzerland, bucking a decades-long trend that has seen the number of serious road incidents decline. With the number of accidents involving both drivers and e-cyclists on the rise, the Swiss government has promised a thorough analysis of what is happening.
Serious road incidents on the rise in Switzerland
According to ASTRA, reported in Watson, 241 people in Switzerland died in road accidents last year, while 4.002 were seriously injured. Just like in 2021, incidents increased compared to the year before, which the government noted is a reverse of a decades-long trend which has seen road incidents decline.
The number of fatalities and injured has increased by 21 and 6 percent respectively over the 12 months. The Advice Center for Accident Prevention (BFU) said the increase was a "serious signal", with ASTRA confirming that they would be conducting a full analysis into why incidents are increasing by so much. Their report is due to be published in the third quarter of 2023.
Drivers and e-bike riders in Switzerland saw increase in accidents
Among drivers, injuries have increased across all age groups above 24 years old, with the most common incidents being related to skidding on icy roads and motorways, self-inflicted accidents through lack of concentration, and frontal collisions with other drivers. 75 percent of those seriously injured in cars caused the accident themselves, with the main cause of incidents being alcohol or medicine consumption, or fatigue.
The most marked increase in incidents was found among riders of e-bikes: the number of e-bike fatalities has risen from 6 in 2021 to 23 in 2022, with the number of people seriously injured rising from 29 to a whopping 560 cyclists last year. 80 percent of accidents involved speed-limited e-bikes, with the 55 to 64 age group suffering the most serious injuries.
Like drivers, 75 percent of e-bike injuries were caused by the rider. The most common reasons were inattention or being distracted, making a driving error and alcohol consumption. Riders of e-scooters also saw a marked rise in injuries last year.
Swiss cyclists and motorcyclists the only groups to see accidents decline
ASTRA concluded that the only groups that saw fewer accidents in 2022 were regular cyclists and those on motorbikes. Both categories saw a slight decline in incidents over the last year, with speed and inattention the two most common causes of crashes.
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