More than half of those killed in urban accidents are pedestrians and cyclists, according to figures released on Thursday by the Finnish Crash Data Institute (OTI).
Between 2012 and 2021, there were 445 fatal traffic accidents in urban areas of Finland, accounting for about a fifth of all fatal crashes during the period. Those resulting from sudden medical conditions such as seizures are excluded from the figures.
Fifty-seven percent of those killed in urban accidents were pedestrians and cyclists. Over the decade, there were 156 fatal accidents involving pedestrians and 104 fatalities involving cyclists. Nearly half (44 percent) of fatal pedestrian accidents in built-up areas happened on pedestrian crosswalks.
The bulk of fatal accidents were collisions between a motor vehicle and a cyclist. Just 14 percent of fatal cycling accidents were individual accidents that did not involve any other parties or vehicles.
Familiar risk factors: Intoxicants and speeding
During the 10-year survey period, there were 183 accidents in urban areas where people died in motor vehicles. Nearly 40 percent of the drivers causing fatal accidents were intoxicated, while 44 percent of them were driving at least 30 kph over the speed limit.
In a statement on Thursday, OTI Traffic Safety Director Kalle Parkkari called for a range of safety improvements to lower fatality levels. These ranged from better monitoring of drivers' fitness to drive, speed and use of safety devices and better identification of factors that impair driving ability and closer cooperation between physicians and police on these issues to increasing the number of traffic lights and removal of obstacles in the traffic environment, as well as technological advances aimed at limiting vehicle speeds.