• Sweden's news in English
 

Traffic fatalities up by 28 percent in Sweden

Published: 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
Jay Z rebrands Nordic streaming service
Jay Z launching the service. Photo: Brad Barket/TT

Jay Z rebrands Nordic streaming service

Rap mogul Jay Z launched a rebranded music streaming service on Monday with major star backing, after buying the Scandinavian sites Tidal and Wimp and their parent company Aspiro earlier this month. READ  

UN has 'great interest in Sweden' says PM
Sweden's PM Stefan Löfven. Photo: TT

UN has 'great interest in Sweden' says PM

Sweden’s Prime Minister Stefan Löfven has told reporters in New York that the United Nations appears highly interested in his country, as he lobbies to get the Nordic nation a seat on the UN Security Council. READ  

Immigrants need time to learn Swedish: OECD
A Swedish class for immigrants in Stockholm. Photo: TT

Immigrants need time to learn Swedish: OECD

Sweden needs to do more to help its immigrants and refugees learn Swedish so they can become fully-integrated members of society who hold down jobs, the OECD has argued. READ  

Opinion
Swedish companies must learn from Saudi row
A Swedish workplace. Photo: Suzanne Walström/Image Bank Sweden

Swedish companies must learn from Saudi row

Swedish companies worried about the nation's business links with the Arab world should instead be focussing on their own responsibility to promote and demonstrate ethical behaviour, argues Ruben Brunsveld from the Swedish Network for Business and Human Rights. READ  

Sweden's Volvo to build first car factory in US
Volvo's factory in west Sweden. Photo: TT

Sweden's Volvo to build first car factory in US

Swedish carmaker Volvo Cars has announced plans to build its first factory in the United States, 60 years after it started selling cars in the country. READ  

Britain's Ukip demands Swedish TV apology
Ukip leader Nigel Farage pictured last year. Photo: TT

Britain's Ukip demands Swedish TV apology

UPDATED: Sweden's media watchdog has given public broadcaster SVT a rap on the knuckles for labelling Britain's Ukip an "extreme right-wing populist party" and the party has told The Local it now wants a public apology from the broadcaster. READ  

Eight-year-old's 'killer' attacks husband in court
Photo: Yara Alnajjar's uncle returns to court for the appeal case against him. Photo: Drago Prvulovic/TT

Eight-year-old's 'killer' attacks husband in court

A woman convicted of the murder of eight-year-old Yara Alnajjar threw herself at her husband, the girl’s uncle, in a Malmö courtroom on Monday at the start of a high-profile appeal. READ  

Sweden keeps ban on spontaneous dancing
Dancing protestors oppose the dance permits on the streets of Stockholm in 2012. Photo: Lars Pehrson/SvD/TT

Sweden keeps ban on spontaneous dancing

Spontaneous dancing remains outlawed in Sweden except in venues with special “dance licences” after a majority in parliament voted down a move to free the feet. READ  

Sweden needs lower wages for young: report
OECD secretary-general Angel Gurría (centre) flanked by Swedish Finance Minister Magdalena Andersson and Trade Minister Mikael Damberg. Photo: Fredrik Sandberg/TT

Sweden needs lower wages for young: report

Sweden should lower entry-level wages and make teaching more attractive, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) recommends in a new economic survey. READ  

The Local investigates
'It was a long journey and some of my friends died'
Princess and Lloyd Justus from Nigeria are seeking asylum along with their baby daughter. Photo: The Local

'It was a long journey and some of my friends died'

A week after the Swedish Migration Board announced it was tripling the maximum number of residents allowed at asylum centres, The Local brings you a special report from inside Märsta, the country's busiest asylum application centre just outside Stockholm, where hundreds of refugees spend their first nights in Sweden each week. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Gallery
People-watching: March 28th
National
Travelling over Easter? Don't miss our guide to rail disruption
Sponsored Article
Why Stockholm is the 'Boston of Europe'
National
Sweden remembers Nobel laureate Tomas Tranströmer
Sponsored Article
'Sweden must embrace openness and diversity'
Blog updates

27 March

Celebrating Three Great English Exports In 2015 (The Diplomatic Dispatch) »

"Deputy Head of Mission Aidan Liddle joins us for another guest blog today. In 2015, England..." READ »

 

27 March

Editor’s blog, March 27th (The Local Sweden) »

"Hi readers, Europe remains in shock following the Germanwings plane crash in the Alps that killed 150..." READ »

 
 
 
What's on in Sweden: March 26th - April 2nd
Stieg Larsson's partner blasts Millennium trilogy sequel
Society
How to never miss your favourite weekly features on The Local
Gallery
People-watching: March 25th
National
Which words are changing in Sweden's latest dictionary?
National
Is this house 'un-Swedish'?
National
Sweden pays tribute to victims of Germanwings Alps crash
National
Neo-Nazi activity rising in Sweden
National
How to make Swedish Waffles
Gallery
Property of the week: Torslanda - Hjuvik
National
Stray dog Arthur moves in with Swedish owners
Sponsored Article
Ten tips for succeeding as a start-up in Sweden
National
Sweden triples maximum limit at asylum centres
Gallery
People-watching: March 21st
National
Why elderly Swedes are among the world's happiest people
National
TIMELINE: Gothenburg shootings
National
Can Sweden's feminist party score success in neighbouring Norway?
National
Why Brits can't get enough of Sweden
Gallery
IN PICTURES: Sweden's solar eclipse
National
What's on in Sweden this week
Royal wedding countdown begins
National
Viking ring reveals Islamic ties
National
TIMELINE: Julian Assange sex allegations in Sweden
Gallery
People-watching: March 18th
National
One in three Russian diplomats are spies, says Sweden's Security Service
National
Hitchcock opera set to hit Gothenburg stage
Gallery
IN PICTURES: Northern Lights on show across Sweden
Technology
Why Swedish pop star Robyn is pushing for more girls in tech
Gallery
Property of the week: Umeå
National
Introducing Sweden's Eurovision 2015 entry Måns Zelmerlöw
Gallery
People-watching: March 13th - 15th
National
Why have Swedish prosecutors made a U-turn in Julian Assange case?
Sponsored Article
How Sweden and India can work together
Politics
Who's the new young leader of the Christian Democrats?
Travel
Why are Swedes so obsessed with Mallorca?
Gallery
Princess Estelle celebrates her mother's name day in Stockholm
National
What's on in Sweden this week
National
Obama's anti-Semitism team heads to Stockholm and Malmö
Gallery
People-watching: March 11th
Technology
How a Swedish app is teaching children to empathize
Swedish grandparents put on disguises to snatch baby
National
Why Sweden may not be as gender equal as you think
Sponsored Article
Expert US tax preparation for Americans in Sweden
Sponsored Article
Stockholm job fair helps immigrant entrepreneurs
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

3,428
jobs available
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:
psdmedia.se