• Sweden edition
 
Traffic fatalities up by 28 percent in Sweden

Traffic fatalities up by 28 percent in Sweden

Published: 04 Jul 2011 14:10 GMT+02:00
Updated: 04 Jul 2011 14:10 GMT+02:00

February saw the most accidents. While last year the second month of the year saw eight people die on the roads, this year 26 lives were taken.

A further breakdown of the numbers reveals 23 pedestrians killed against nine through the same period last year, in addition to 83 fatalities while driving compared to last year’s 75, and 21 motorcyclists dead against 13 for the first half of 2010.

The Transport Administration's Director General Gunnar Malm could not draw conclusions or definitive answers as to why traffic fatalities are on the rise.

“I think it is actually purely random factors, and if we look at the average in recent years, it is actually a reduction,” he told the TT news agency.

Malm pointed out the decrease from five years ago, where the year’s midpoint hovered just above 170 traffic fatalities. He said February 2010, with only eight deaths, stands out.

“It was an extreme month. We had severe winter conditions which made people cautious and perhaps even keep the car parked. February last year was actually tougher than this year.”

Last year 266 people in Sweden in total were killed in traffic, against 358 the year before.

But in 2010, traffic statistics began to exclude fatalities caused by suicide, which on average accounts for about 30 deaths a year.

The new quantifying method has not yet been administered for this year, which Malm said will reduce the numbers.

Malm also emphasized that looking at individual semi-annual or even monthly statistics can affect the numbers and create the illusion of a rising trend.

He said last year was perhaps "a good one.”

“I believe that chance played into our favour quite significantly during the year, and it is important to see the longer trend,” he explained.

During the first five months of 2011, traffic volume increased by 2.1 percent in the national road network, with 1.9 percent accounting for passenger cars and 3.5 percent for trucks.

“We know that when traffic increases so does the accident propensity. There's definitely a connection,” Malm told TT.

He would not yet talk about reasons why the numbers look so grim for certain types of road users or what could possibly be done to reduce fatal traffic incidents.

“We are analyzing this, they are very recent figures,” Malm said.

TT/The Local/kh (news@thelocal.se)

Your comments about this article

20:16 July 4, 2011 by planet.sweden
The idiocy and aggression of Swedish drivers has to be seen to be believed.

Here in Stockholm drivers pay about as much attention to zebra crossings - where they are meant to give way to pedestrians - as the proverbial Greek taxi driver. Speeding is the norm, respect for other drivers zero, and indicating before turning a long forgotten art.

All of these issues can be multiplied by 10 among middle aged drivers of automatic 4x4s and powerful sports cars, the owners of which believe they can do as they please.

Add in drink and drugs and as far as road fatalities on Swedish roads are concerned, the only way is up.

The Transport Administration's Director General Gunnar Malm is deluding himself if he thinks the near one third increase in fatalities is down to "random factors". He needs to wake up and smell the coffee. Sweden is a changed country, with a changed culture, and changed attitudes. Gone is community, now its all me me me, first first first, and that's reflected in traffic accidents.
07:04 July 5, 2011 by Scott McCoy
I totally agree with ya PS.I,ve driven in many citys,D.C,N.Y,L.A,torionto,just to name a couple and I,ve never seen such Ignorant and bad drivers as I,ve seen in Sweden.Oh when I came here everyone said,Sweden is so good and they train there drivers so well when they take there tests,well I don't know what kind of tests they give them here,,stupidity tests maybe.

They sure as hell don't know how to drive here.
08:35 July 5, 2011 by J. L. Belmar
Not even in my country you find so many stupids driving a car, bus or whatever. Swedes are amongst the worst drivers in the whole world. As long as they keep on with their way of driving one meter behind the car in front, at 60 where is 30, ignoring the blinkers and having no respect for human lives, in 2012 they will be granted with the International Idiocy Prize.

Both, Scott McCoy and planet.sweden, are completely right, but they forgot the stupid women who are chatting and sending sms messages while driving. They are simply retarded, but if you "dare" calling their attention, they insult you with the nicest Swedish words they have in the day by day dictionary.

Winter makes thing worse, because Swedes keep on driving like stupids, regardless if we are under one meter snow, have ice on the streets or whatever. The owe the streets and you know why? Because they are Swedes, the cream of the coffee in the whole world.

I can consider to be a lucky person. I have survived two or three times when I managed to avoid one ot those Neanderthals behind a wheel. Yes, the same type who comes to an ICA affair and leaves the car in f ront of the entrance or takes to places to leave his Volvo, Saab or truck.

God saves Scott and planet from these and other "Swedish drivers".
09:00 July 5, 2011 by just a question
It could be worse. Obviously you haven't seen Norwegian drivers
10:24 July 5, 2011 by engagebrain
Last week I was undertaken at 100 kphby a car towing another car with a short rope - 20 kph higher than the speed limit. I am unsure if both drivers were using their mobile phones.

The road system in Sweden is excellent, as are most drivers, but around 1% require serious police attention - are there any traffic police ?
10:28 July 5, 2011 by Eroth
Well, we could always put some kind of ban on talking on the phone and messaging while driving, it would be a start.
10:50 July 5, 2011 by Twiceshy
I think some of you are exaggerating quite a lot about how bad Swedish drivers are...

That said, it is true that people have a tendency to tailgate and drive in the middle lane too much...
12:08 July 5, 2011 by karex
@twiceshy - don't forget not using blinkers or only using them 2 meters from their turn, which really makes them quite useless at that point.

@J.L. Belmar - a bit sexist of you to claim women are the SMS and mobile phone offenders while driving. I have seen both sexes practice this bad habit. Rule of thumb, if they're driving erradically in front of you, either they're sleepy, drunk or talking on the phone. All of these situations can cause a very serious outcome.

I agree with Eroth it has always suprised me that talking on the phone by drivers is allowed in Sweden where in other countries it is banned, unless you are using a bluetooth or other hands-free device, in some places.
12:49 July 5, 2011 by Viking1
Drivers and the road system are not great in Sweden! There are too many drivers that do not have the patience and courtesy towards other road users. Whether these are of Swedish origin or otherwise there should be some serious hard thinking carried out by the authorities to get drivers back on track. The loss of one life due to careless driving is one too many in any country. Get serious, stop using mobile phones whilst driving or any other substance that impairs your driving ability.

Being a non Swede I pose a couple of of questions:-

Can't get my head around motor cyclists that buzz along the paths for pedestrians - is this legal?

Why do we have to stop at "pedestrian" crossings for cyclists who do not dismount and walk across the road?
16:19 July 5, 2011 by karex
@Viking1: I have been told that cyclists do not have the same rights as pedestrians and MUST dismount for cars to stop. Having said that however, you will most likely be prosecuted if you hit one anyway. This poses a problem: my car and I were run over by a cyclist once who appeared out of no-where at approx. 40km/hour. When I say run over, I mean that it barreled right into me smack in the middle of the passenger side of the car. Then the kid just fled and left me with the expense of fixing the damages both to the body work and a new paint job...
17:13 July 5, 2011 by J. L. Belmar
@karex

I forgot to add that I have not seen men feeding their babies, painting their fingernails, fixing their hairdoos or reading a novel like I have seen women doing. If that is for you being sexist, yes. And so what. Your comment is a typical feminist comment. Now you can tell me "and so what" and we are even.

I have witnessed more accidents provoked by women than by men. There is a difference though. The majority of men do not try to blaim the victim. The majority of women they are looking always for an excuse for blaiming the victim for not paying attention when they are about to hit him.

If you want to know how to drive, please read "A Little Guide on How to Drive a Little bit less Bad". Unfortunately it is not written in Swedish, that is, assuming you are a Swede.
21:02 July 5, 2011 by Viking1
No, I am English not Swedish. You are probably right about the being prosecuted if you hit a cyclist on a pedestrian crossroad, better luck next time. I'm not looking for "how to drive" either. All of us just need to be more careful and courteous on the road but that's just a dream I guess. Welcome to Sweden as my Swedish colleagues keep telling me.
10:34 July 6, 2011 by Twiceshy
> Why do we have to stop at "pedestrian" crossings for cyclists who do not dismount and walk across the road?

I never do unless it's really necessary.

Riding a bike and expecting priority on the pedestrian crossing is having your cake and eating it too.
Today's headlines
National
Fresh Ebola case investigated in Sweden
The patient is being treated at the Karolinska University Hospital. Photo: TT

Fresh Ebola case investigated in Sweden

Doctors in Stockholm are checking a patient suspected of having contracted the Ebola virus. READ  

Elections 2014
Sweden Democrat wins Deputy Speaker spot
Björn Söder. Photo: TT

Sweden Democrat wins Deputy Speaker spot

Despite most Members of Parliament abstaining from voting, Sweden Democrat party secretary Björn Söder has been announced as one of Sweden's new Deputy Speakers. READ  

Music
The five best Swedish songs of the month
Swedish singer Tove Lo. Photo: TT

The five best Swedish songs of the month

The Local's resident music guru Paul Connolly is back with another selection of his favourite Swedish tracks. READ  

International
Swedish model in hiding after UK politician sting
Malin Sahlén during a Top Model shoot. Photo: TV3/Nina Holma

Swedish model in hiding after UK politician sting

A Swedish model whose photo was used in a British tabloid newspaper sting without her permission has described the incident as "something terrible". READ  

Society
Swedish artist has 'racist' show cancelled
Park's work Hang-on Afrobians. The Local has altered the image to hide the men's identities

Swedish artist has 'racist' show cancelled

Plans for works by controversial Swedish artist Dan Park to be shown in a secret location in Copenhagen have been shelved by the radio station that was behind the project. READ  

Politics
New Speaker for Sweden's Parliament
Urban Ahlin is set to become Sweden's new Speaker in Parliament. Photo: TT

New Speaker for Sweden's Parliament

BREAKING: Social Democrat politician Urban Ahlin has been announced as the man incoming Prime Minister Stefan Löfven wants to take over as the next speaker in Sweden's parliament. READ  

National
Ikea Foundation sends millions to fight Ebola

Ikea Foundation sends millions to fight Ebola

The Ikea Foundation has donated 45 million kronor ($6.2 million) to aid organization Doctors Without Borders in an attempt to tackle West Africa's growing Ebola outbreak. READ  

National
Over 40 kids hurt daily in Swedish playgrounds

Over 40 kids hurt daily in Swedish playgrounds

Over 15,000 Swedish kids each year are so badly hurt in the country's playgrounds that they are sent to hospital, new statistics have shown. READ  

Politics
New government to make school compulsory to 18
File photo: TT

New government to make school compulsory to 18

The new Red-Green government came to its first agreement on Sunday, announcing a two-year extension to Sweden's mandatory schooling. READ  

NATIONAL
Sweden pays tribute to Estonia disaster victims
The doomed MS Estonia ferry. File photo: TT

Sweden pays tribute to Estonia disaster victims

Two decades on from the catastrophic sinking of the MS Estonia, which claimed the lives of 501 Swedes, the nation has paid tribute to the victims amid calls for a fresh inquiry into the tragedy. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Lifestyle
The five best Swedish songs of the month
Gallery
People-watching: September 28th
National
When Italian style meets Swedish simplicity
Lifestyle
Review: Sweden's first alcohol-free nightclub
Gallery
In Pictures: The MS Estonia disaster
Blog updates

28 September

Spoiled Doyle (Blogweiser) »

"What you gotta watch out for in Sweden is the good stuff. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Re_EzUe6xpI In Sweden, it’s the good things you have to watch out for. Video on @TheLocalSweden http://t.co/rAb8eGFdTD pic.twitter.com/w37YYwMXy1 — Joel Sherwood (@joeldsherwood) September 29, 2014 " READ »

 

26 September

 (The Local Sweden) »

"Hi readers, Autumn swept into Sweden at the start of this week with snow in the north of the country and flooding in the south. As well as a change in the weather, Sweden’s change in political direction became clearer, with Social Democrat leader Stefan Lofven formally announcing his party would work with the Greens as..." READ »

 
 
 
National
Swedish scientists sneak Bob Dylan lyrics into articles
Lifestyle
Ten things expat women notice in Sweden
Politics
What's next on Sweden's political stage?
Gallery
Sweden's 2014 election: Most memorable moments
Society
What's on in Sweden
Gallery
People-watching: September 24th
Seaman Oliver Gee with his first lobster
Lifestyle
How to catch the first lobster of the year
Gallery
In Pictures: Fredrik Reinfeldt through the years.
Society
Plucked out of Canada for love and guitars
Gallery
Property of the week - Torslanda
Politics
How Sweden Democrats went mainstream
Politics
Scandinavia and Scotland: closer links?
Sponsored Article
How to start a business in Stockholm
Society
Why is Stockholm's Södermalm so cool?
Politics
Sweden elections: Who's who?
Sponsored Article
Introducing… Insurance in Stockholm
Gallery
Princess Estelle through the years
Business & Money
Five golden rules for the Swedish job hunt
Society
A closer look at Sweden's five official minority languages
Politics
Sweden elections: How do they work?
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

860
jobs available
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions is an innovative business company which provides valuable assistance with the Swedish Authorities, Swedish language practice and general communications. Call 073-100 47 81 or visit:
www.swedishdowntown.com
PSD Media
PSD Media is marketing company that offers innovative solutions for online retailers. We provide modern solutions that help increase traffic and raise conversion. Visit our site at:
http://psdmedia.se
If you want to drink, that’s your business.
If you want to stop, we can help.

Learn more about English-language Alcoholics Anonymous in Sweden. No dues. No fees. Confidentiality assured.
AA-EUROPE.ORG/SWEDEN