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Road deaths in Sweden at record low

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Road deaths in Sweden at record low
12:00 CEST+02:00
The amount of deaths on Swedish roads has dropped to a level not seen since the 1940s with the fatality rate for September setting a new record.

A report published by Dagens Nyheter revealed that 18 people were killed on the road in September which is a third lower than the monthly average over the last few years.

So far this year 195 people have been killed on Swedish roads. In 2012 a total of 285 perished over the entire year.

Upgrading your call to a more modern vehicle with better safety features makes a significant difference according to the Swedish Transport Adminstration (svenska trafiksäkerhetsarbete)

"That is a revolution too. If you go from an 80s car and upgrade to a new car - it doesn't need to be that expensive - then the risk of a fatal accident decreases by 80 percent," said Claes Tingvall, a leading expert with the Swedish Transport Adminstration to DN.

The report adds that the introduction of speed cameras in 2006 has also contributed to reducing the death rate. For the period 2010 - 2013 the amount of fatalities on Swedish roads was at a level not seen since the war years of the 1940s.

Speed cameras are estimated to save between 20 and 30 lives per year. Better roads, speed bumbs and more roundabout have also made a difference.

Back in 1962, when there were 1.5 million cars on the road, a total of 1123 people were killed in road accidents. In 2012, when there were five million cars on the road, that figure had decreased to 285.

Road safety experts have said they expect that figure to continue to decrease in the years to come with Tingvall indicating that by 2020 there could be 100 road deaths.

"One can reach to zero serious accidents in a few decades. And you can get close to zero in other accidents as well also," said Anders Eugensson who works in the autonomous vehicle department of Volvo.

The Swedish manufacturer has been developing self-driving cars which can drive itself under certain conditions and can also self-park. The cars are unlikely to be commercially available for at least another decade.

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