2021 Road Safety Annual Report

Find the final 2021 results here.

In 2021, 3,219 people were killed on French roads, in mainland France and overseas. This figure, 8% lower than in 2019, is historically low (excluding the atypical year 2020). The upturn in travel in 2021 was tempered by a period of confinement in April, curfews throughout the first half of the year, and several periods when working from home was strongly recommended.

In 2021, there were 53,540 injury traffic accidents in mainland France. 2,944 people were killed within 30 days of their accident, including 414 pedestrians, 24 users of personal mobility devices (such as e-scooters), 227 cyclists, 96 moped riders, 572 motorcyclists, 1,414 motorists, 103 users of utility vehicles, 44 users of heavy goods vehicles. 85 children aged 13 or under died, 101 teenagers aged 14-17, 505 young people aged 18-24, 770 senior citizens aged 65 or over.

In overseas counties, 183 people were killed.

In overseas collectivities and New Caledonia, 92 people were killed.

The main indicators of  injury accidents recorded by the police forces (BAAC file, data for year N in its final version in May of year N+1, quasi-final version in January of year N+1) are certified by the Public Statistics Authority.

The full report will be published in September 2022.

Road safety results in France (mainland and overseas) :

3,219 people died in 2021 on the roads of France, in mainland France or overseas. This figure, 8% lower than in 2019, is historically low.

In 2021, the public authorities have put in place national and/or local curfews. During these periods of restriction, travel, particularly for work or leisure, was greatly reduced. This reduction in travel during periods that are often at night, when serious accidents occur, has logically led to a reduction in fatal accidents, but has had a lesser effect on non-fatal accidents, which occur mainly during the day.

image 190

Source: ONISR final data 2021
Data on injury accidents recorded by police forces in mainland France, DOM, COM and NC

In a context still marked by the vagaries of the Covid-19 health crisis, road accident indicators in 2021 are historically low if the special year 2020 is excluded. Analyses will be conducted relatively to the pre-pandemic reference year, 2019.

While the number of fatalities in 2021 is 8% lower than in 2019, the number of injury accident drop only by -4%, and the number of injured persons by -5%.

The study of weekly changes in the number of accidents involving injured, which is closely linked to changes in traffic, show less marked inflections in 2021 than in 2020 during the April lockdown period. It thus seems that the traffic restrictions related to the health situation (curfew and confinement in the first half of 2021) had less impact in 2021 than in the previous year.

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Source: ONISR final data 2021
Data on injury accidents recorded by police forces in mainland France, DOM, COM and NC

Road safety results - France mainland only

In mainland France, 2,944 people died on the roads (2,292 men and 652 women), i.e. 300 fewer killed than in 2019 (-9%). The number of bodily injury accidents fell by 4% and the number of people injured by 5%. While 78% of those killed were men, 82% of drivers involved in fatal accidents were men.

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This is the lowest road mortality recorded since 1926, apart from the year 2020 which was heavily impacted by the traffic restrictions imposed by the management of the COVID 19 pandemic (road mortality in 1926: 2,900 deaths), while it can be estimated that the number of vehicles on the road has multiplied by 50.

image 191

Source: ONISR  final data 2021
Data on injury accidents recorded by police forces in mainland France

1,177 people died in accidents with no third party involved, including 736 car drivers, 248 motorised two-wheeler users, 78 commercial vehicle users, and 73 cyclists. They were drivers or passengers of a single vehicle involved in the accident.

Pedestrian deaths (414 deaths) are down (-14%) compared to 2019. More than half of these fatalities occur each year among older people aged 65 or over. 300 pedestrians died in built-up areas, 56% of whom were hit by a passenger vehicle and 25% by a commercial vehicle or heavy goods vehicle. 82 pedestrians died on roads outside built-up areas, 72% of whom were hit by a passenger vehicle and 23% by a heavy vehicle. 32 pedestrians died on motorways.

Fatalities fell most sharply among road users aged 25-34 (-23%) and 75 and over (-16%), obviously largely due to the curfew in the first half of the year. For the 25-34 year olds, evening parties, with a high risk of serious accident, were not possible. For the oldest age group, half of whose deaths are as pedestrians, there is traditionally a peak during the winter. However, in the first quarter of 2021, people returned home during the day, before 6pm, which protected them. However, the death rates in relation to their population remain the highest after the 18-24 year olds (94 deaths per million inhabitants): 53 deaths per million inhabitants of 25-34 year olds and 71 deaths per million inhabitants of 75 year olds or more. The national average is 45 fatalities per million inhabitants.

With an acceleration in the development of cycling following the pandemic, the number of cyclists killed will increase: 227 killed in 2021, i.e. 40 more than in 2019. 130 cyclists died outside built-up areas (i.e. +37% for an increase in cycling of +14%); 97 cyclists were killed in built-up areas (i.e. +7% for an increase in cycling of +31% according to the National Traffic Platform).

Mortality by age group in France mainland

In 2021, road fatalities decrease by 9% compared to 2019 (the reference year before the pandemic).
The number of fatalities decreases for all age groups, except for those under 18 and between 65 and 74.

image 193Source: ONISR final data 2021
Data on injury accidents recorded by police forces in mainland France

An additional 33 fatalities among children and teenagers in 2021

83 children age 0-13 years died in 2021, 24 more than in 2019. The increase is shared between trips in passenger cars outside built-up areas and soft mobility modes (pedestrian, e-scooters, bicycle) in built-up areas. The number of children injured on kick scooters or e-scooters increases significantly in urban areas.

101 teenagers age 14 to 17 died in 2021, 9 more than in 2019. The increase focuses in trips on passenger cars outside of built-up areas. The number of injured teenagers on kick scooters, e-scooters or moped increase in built-up areas. License-free car injuries increase outside built-up areas.

Contrasting results for senior citizens: gains in life only in the first semester

321 senior citizens age 65 to 74 years died, 4 more than in 2019. An increase in the number of fatalities is observed for cyclists and powered two-wheelers outside urban areas, partly offset by a decrease in fatalities for car users outside urban areas and pedestrians in urban areas. The trends for injured persons are similar.
449 seniors age 75 or over died, 83 fewer than in 2019. Outside built-up areas, the number of car users killed falls sharply, while the number of cyclists killed increases. In built-up areas, the number of pedestrian fatalities decreases while the number of car users fatalities increases. The number of cyclists injured increases.

Fatalities by road user category in mainland France

The decrease in fatalities in 2021 compared to 2019 is -9%, that is to say 300 fewer fatalities. The decrease is largely due to the reduction in car users fatalities by 208 (-13%), powered two-wheeler fatalities by 80 (-11%) and pedestrian fatalities by 69 (-14%). Over the same period, cyclists' fatalities increase by 40 fatalities (+21%), heavy goods vehicle fatalities increase by 8 fatalities, and light commercial vehicle fatalitiesby 5 fatalities. Finally, 24 users of e-scooters die in 2021 compared to 10 in 2019.

image 199Source: ONISR final data 2021
Data on injury accidents recorded by police forces in mainland France

Trends 2021 by road networks in France mainland

The largest decrease in fatalities between 2019 and 2021 is outside built-up areas with -11% (211 fewer fatalities), followed by built-up areas with -7% (74 fewer fatalities). With traffic likely unaffected by the restrictions due to the health crisis, motorway fatalities are down only by -6% compared to 2019

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Source: ONISR final data 2021
Data on injury accidents recorded by police forces in mainland France

Road safety results overseas

image 197

Source: ONISR final data 2021
Data on injury accidents recorded by police forces in overseas territories (DOM, COM and NC)

275 people died on the roads of the overseas territories in 2021, 183 in overseas counties and 92 in overseas collectivities or in New Caledonia. This is an increase of +8% (that is to say 21 more fatalities) compared to 2019 (reference year).

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Source: ONISR final data 2021
Data on injury accidents recorded by police forces in overseas territories (DOM, COM and NC)

Powered two-wheeler fatalities increased in 2021, with 98 users killed, that is to say a little more than a third of all road fatalities overseas. Not wearing a helmet accounted for half of all powered two-wheeler deaths.

Car users fatalities represent a little more than a third of road fatalities in the French overseas territories, with an estimated 89 deaths. Seatbelts are a major issue in the overseas territories, where in several territories half or even three quarters of the people killed were not wearing them.

Pedestrian fatalities decrease in 2021 compared to 2019 with 48 pedestrians killed.

Road fatalities of young adults aged 18-24 years old are up by 9 fatalities in 2021 compared to 2019, reaching 58 fatalities in 2021 compared to 49 fatalities in 2019.

The fatlities of 25-44 years old is up by +20% between 2019 and 2021, that is to say 18 more fatalities (a total of 104 fatalities in 2021 compared to 86 fatalities in 2019).

The fatalities of 45-64 years old is down by 19 fatalities to reach 49 fatalities in 2021.

Senior fatalities for 65 years old and over are up by 10 fatalities to reach 38 fatalities in 2021. Seniors are still much less represented than in mainland France.