Europe’s Safest Motorways – Tank Jam

New figures shed surprising light on motorway safety in Western Europe.

Also, tank jam on the site of the notorious Stalag Luft III in Poland. Protestors block the A1 between Rome and Florence (finally re-opened). Good news on the MSP’s campaign to restore the UK-Scandinavia ferry link (coming up).



UK best. Belgium and Portugal worst. France good. Germany below average, especially for trucks.

stuttgart flughafen1

New figures show that motorways in France are much safer than the wider network while the reverse is true in Germany.

The latter also sees the highest proportion of accidents involving trucks.

Researchers from the Belgian Road Safety Institute (L’Institut Belge pour la Sécurité Routière, IBSR) compiled motorway crash statistics from around the EU (see the interactive map).

Comparing just the countries with ‘mature’ motorway networks – Germany, Netherlands, Belgium, France, Austria, Italy, Spain, Portugal and the UK – shows the highest proportion of motorway fatalities (as a percentage of all road fatalities) is in Spain at 17%.

However, in terms of deaths per million inhabitants – the standard road safety measure – Portugal on 10.4 pips Belgium on 9.8. The European average according to IBSR is 4.7 (Spain is 9.1).

The UK, France and the Netherlands all tie on the lowest proportion of motorway deaths at 6%.

While the other two vie for having the safest roads in Europe overall – both around 30 deaths per million inhabitants – motorway deaths in France come in at 3.7 per million inhabitants compared to its overall road safety figure of 50 (against the European average of 52).

Meanwhile, Germany finds itself at the bottom of the list for the number of accidents that include trucks at 24% (next are Belgium and the UK, both on 19%).

Its proportion of fatal motorway accidents – 12% – and deaths per million inhabitants – 5.3 – are both below average too. Germany’s overall figure for road deaths was 41 in 2013.

(Germany’s autobahns are commonly said to be safer than other roads, the main argument against imposing speed limits).

The fewest number of trucks involved in motorway crashes are in the Netherlands, Austria and France, all at 7%.


Tank Jam: the 3rd (UK) Division - aka The Iron Division - on exercises in Zagan, south west Poland, not far from Stalag Luft III, of The Wooden Horse and The Great Escape fame.

Tank Jam: the King’s Royal Hussars on exercise yesterday at the Zagan Training Area, south west Poland, part of ‘Operation Black Eagle’, a high profile response in Eastern Europe to the Ukraine Crisis. Very close to the modern German border, Zagan Garrison has been home to several armies since it was established in 1741: first the Prussian army, then the Wehrmacht, the Russian Red Army and now the Polish Army. Zagan was also home to Stalag Luft III, a prison camp for allied airman, best known for two famous prisoner breakouts, The Wooden Horse in October 1943 and The Great Escape in March 1944. The camp is now a museum, ‘Museum of Allied Prisoners of War Martyrdom’, open every day except Monday. Photo via @3rdUKDivision.


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