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Traffic and drowning deaths up in July – most victims male

Fatalities on Finland's roads and waterways rose last month. The vast majority of those who died were men.

liikenneruuhkaa ruoholahdessa
Fewer people have died on the roads this year, despite July's uptick. Image: Esko Jämsä / AOP

While the record-hot month of July brought a high number of drowning deaths in Finland, there was also an uptick in fatalities and injuries on the nation’s roads. That reversed the overall downward trend so far this year.

The rate of deaths in traffic accidents rose by about 14 percent from a year earlier, from 22 to 25, Statistics Finland reported on Thursday. Injuries were up by around one tenth, with about 590 people hurt.

Altogether there were 458 accidents involving personal injury during the month on Finnish roads.

About half of those killed, 13 people, were in cars, while eight were on motorcycles or mopeds. Three were pedestrians or cyclists. The vast majority of those killed, 21, were men.

Drownings triple

According to the Finnish Swimming Teaching and Lifesaving Federation (FSL), most of those who drowned in July were also men: 23 out of 29. That was nearly triple the chilly previous July’s death toll of 10.

So far this year 47 men have drowned, along with 10 women. Last year 47 was the total number of fatalities between January and July.

Story continues after photo

M/s Mässkär upposi torstaina puolimatkassa Pietarsaaren vanhastasatamasta Mässkärin saarelle.
All passengers were rescued when this taxi boat sank near Jakobstad in early August. Image: Robin Bokull

Overall trend downward for 2018

In the first seven months of the year, there were nearly 2,400 road accidents resulting in injuries or deaths. All in all, 114 people died, with more than 3,000 hurt.

Even with the spike in fatalities last month, overall in 2018 the number of deaths is down by 17 from the same period of 2017, with injuries down by around 30.

During the January-July period, nearly two thirds of those killed were in cars, with more than 20 on mopeds and motorcycles. Eight pedestrians have died, along with three cyclists.

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