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Sweden has safe roads

The quality of our roads and their maintenance is something that is often discussed and in several places there is more to be desired both in terms of maintenance, snow removal and new production. Despite that, a new, international compilation shows that Sweden has the third safest roads in the world, in a shared place with Estonia. The ranking took into account, among other things, the number of traffic fatalities per 100 000 inhabitants, traffic accessibility and road quality.

The ranking is compiled by international experts on behalf of the car subscription company FINN. The selection for the ranking is countries with a so-called HDI index, which is a measure of prosperity, above 8. The Netherlands and Norway ended up in first and second place in the ranking.

– What elevates Sweden in the ranking is the low number of fatal accidents and the high seat belt use, says Tony Gunnarsson, expert in road safety at Riksförbundet M Sweden. Sweden gets a lower rating for the high traffic pressure and the high percentage of alcohol-related fatal accidents.

The lowest risk of dying in a fatal traffic accident is found in Iceland, with 2,05 fatal accidents per 100 000 inhabitants, followed by Norway and Switzerland. Sweden ends up in fifth place with 3,14 deaths per 100 000 inhabitants.

– Sweden has a long tradition of road safety work that continues to produce results in the form of a decreasing number of traffic deaths, says Tony Gunnarsson. However, many still die on 70-roads with dangerous curves and lack of center rails. Other problems are the high number of unprotected road users killed and the low number of sobriety checks.

When it comes to the level of traffic, a compilation of factors such as average commuting time, dissatisfaction with time spent in traffic, emission levels and traffic disruptions, Sweden receives the lowest rating of the Nordic and Baltic countries.

– Despite the fact that Sweden is a sparsely populated country, there are accessibility problems here as well, Tony Gunnarsson continues. New investments in the roads have been at a low level for the past three decades and over 60 percent of the Swedish road network was built before 1970. Failure to invest in the eastern connection and similar projects, combined with municipal policies to reduce car use, has led to congestion and queues in our major cities.