• 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
Science
Swedish women in two-year sex pill study
Contraceptive pills have been linked to mood swings. Photo: Shutterstock

Swedish women in two-year sex pill study

Three hundred women from across Sweden are taking part in a study designed to demonstrate that modern contraceptive pills don't lead to decreased libido or mood swings. READ  

National
Stockholm 'sinking' oil spill ship safe
The ship was rescued on Thursday. Photo: Swedish Coast Guard

Stockholm 'sinking' oil spill ship safe

After fears a ship carrying around 52 tonnes of oil could sink in Stockholm's archipelago, Sweden's Coast Guard said the vessel had been towed to safety. READ  

National
Dog attack policewoman acquitted on appeal
A scene from a video of the attack published by Dagens Nyheter

Dog attack policewoman acquitted on appeal

A policewoman accused of letting her dog attack a drunk man while she repeatedly hit him with a baton, has had her conviction overturned by a court in Stockholm. READ  

Entertainment
What's On: October 31st - November 7th
Uma Thurman will soon be on her way to Stockholm. Photo: TT

What's On: October 31st - November 7th

Halloween fun and an international film festival are the big events hitting Stockholm this week. We cast our eye over the capital and the rest of the country for the best activities to check out this week. READ  

International
Pirate Bay Swede found guilty in Denmark
Gottrid Svartholm Warg. File photo: TT

Pirate Bay Swede found guilty in Denmark

Sweden's Pirate Bay Founder Gottrid Svartholm Warg was found guilty of hacking crimes in a Danish court on Thursday. READ  

National
Malmö loses out as rare toads move in
The European green toad. Photo: H. Krisp (WikiCommons)

Malmö loses out as rare toads move in

After a rare species of toad moved into southern Sweden's Malmö, builders have had to tone down massive expansion plans in the area. READ  

Politics
Palestine recognized as state by Sweden
Sweden's Foreign Minister is Margot Wallström. Photo: TT

Palestine recognized as state by Sweden

The Swedish government has officially decided to recognize Palestine, with the move announced in a speech by the country's new Foreign Minister Margot Wallström. READ  

Interview
Stockholm's shocking take on Halloween
For ten days, Globen is transformed into a giant pumpkin. Photo: Shockholm

Stockholm's shocking take on Halloween

American Bill Schacht missed the spooky outfits, family feasts and charity events he associated with Halloween when he moved to Sweden. So he did something about it. The Local meets the founder of the capital's annual Shockholm parade. READ  

Business & Money
Huge losses for energy giant Vattenfall
A Vattenfall plant in Germany. Photo: TT

Huge losses for energy giant Vattenfall

Swedish energy company Vattenfall has reported losses for the third quarter in a row. READ  

International
Malala donates prize winnings to Gaza
Malala receives the Children's Prize from Queen Silvia. Photo: TT

Malala donates prize winnings to Gaza

UPDATED: Girls' rights champion Malala Yousafzai, who was in Sweden to accept the World's Children's Prize on Wednesday, said she would use all her winnings to help rebuild schools in war-ravaged Gaza. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Business & Money
Get your own office in Gothenburg or Stockholm - free for a day
Gallery
People-watching: October 30th
National
Sweden remains fourth best for gender equality
National
Timeline: Julian Assange sex allegations
Sport
World Cup ski race on 'fake' Stockholm slope
Blog updates

29 October

Scariest day (Blogweiser) »

"This is what’s frightening me on Halloween. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D4OFZVCu8J0&list=UUJu5J7jG4uoYSjWbpFsJBuQ Follow my posts on FB. ..." READ »

 

24 October

Editor’s blog, October 24th (The Local Sweden) »

"Hi readers, Get ready to read our weekly digest of Swedish news in less than 60 seconds. The..." READ »

 
 
 
Society
An Arctic tradition: hunting and handicraft
Society
Stockholm taxis offer free therapy sessions
National
The Local meets Health Minister Gabriel Wikström
Gallery
Property of the week: Österåker
Society
Homeless turtles get Stockholm police ride
National
Construction worker has 'Sweden's best beard'
National
Italian musician jazzes up Sweden's Lapland
Gallery
Zlatan's career in pictures
Finest.se
Gallery
People-watching: October 25th and 26th
Lifestyle
'Swedes are funnier than they think'
National
Swedish town 'like Venice' after heavy rains
Lifestyle
What's On in Sweden: October 24th - 31st
Gallery
People-watching: October 22nd
Gallery
In Pictures: Prince Carl Philip and Sofia Hellqvist
Lifestyle
Eight things to love about renting a Swedish apartment
National
Vasa ship cannon blasted in Sweden
National
Sub hunt: Day-by-day
National
Sub hunt: Stockholm islanders share their fears with The Local
Sponsored Article
The best options for oversea transfers
National
Dentist gives free care to Roma beggars
Gallery
Property of the week: Malmö
Gallery
PHOTOS: 'Foreign activity' in Swedish waters
TT
Society
QUIZ: How good is your Swedish?
Society
The nudity... and nine other things expat men notice in Sweden
Gallery
People-watching: October 15th
Gallery
Your views: Should outdoor smoking be banned in Sweden?
Business & Money
Sweden has 'large hole' in finances
Sponsored Article
Introducing... Finding a job in Stockholm
Society
Monster salmon caught in northern Sweden
Gallery
Property of the week: Lorensberg
National
Scandinavia's child bride
National
Ebola crisis: How is Sweden preparing?
Business & Money
How Sweden is becoming a cashless society
Gallery
Stockholm Burlesque Festival 2014
National
How a little red horse became a symbol for Sweden
Gallery
People-watching: October 12th
Business & Money
The hottest start-ups from southern Sweden
National
Stockholm is 'best' region for well-being
Gallery
People-watching: October 8th
National
Five facts to know about Patrick Modiano
Sponsored Article
How to catch the first lobster of the year
Team SCA
Sponsored Article
All-female SCA team takes off on Volvo Ocean Race
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

1,005
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