In 2020, between January and the end of October, 79 people died on state roads, 75 in 2021, 62 in 2022 and 70 this year.
Compared to statistics from 2022 and 2021, there has been a significant increase in the number of serious road accidents, such as rollovers, crashing into trees or hitting pedestrians, on Latvian roads of local interest in 10 months this year. Half of all serious accidents caused by drunk drivers occurred on roads of local significance.
Roads of local significance in the country are characterized by low traffic intensity and less police presence, electronic control means are not used on them, LVC explained.
In the 10 months of this year, the most deaths – 24 – were in collisions, which have been the most common type of major accidents for several years. 17 people died as a result of a car rollover, ten as a result of a pedestrian crash, eight as a result of a bicycle crash, another eight as a result of an obstacle/tree crash. Collisions have occurred most often on the main roads of the country, rollover – on regional and local roads, pedestrian crashes – on main and local roads, tree crashes – on local roads, bicycle crashes – on regional and local roads.
According to LVC, the main cause of major crashes is still incorrect decisions of drivers, who speed and perform risky and unthought-out maneuvers and rule violations.
In any major accident, the infrastructure was not the cause of the accident, and the infrastructure could have had an impact on the consequences of the accident, LVC said.
LVC specialists have surveyed 63 of the sites of all major crashes, and in 11 cases environmental improvement recommendations or deficiencies have been made, such as the need for a new roadsign or speed camera, tree or bush sawing, and installation of safety barriers.
According to the data of the European Commission's Directorate-General for Transport and Mobility, in 2023 the number of serious accidents in the European Union (EU) countries has increased in Latvia, Lithuania, Portugal, and Sweden, as well as in Estonia and Ireland, LVC noted.
In Latvia, the total number of serious road accidents (on all roads) remains higher than the EU average. Recently-published Eurostat regional statistics showed that Latvia remains a regional blackspot for road traffic deaths.
Latvia's road death rate has shown no evidence of coming down in recent years. In 2017 the rate was 70 deaths per million inhabitants, in 2018 it was 77, in 2019 it fell to 69, then in 2020 it rose again to 73 and rose again to 78 in 2021.