If you are used to driving in the UK then getting behind the wheel in some foreign countries can be a scary experience. Are other places as dangerous to drive in as they appear to be or is it an illusion?
Let’s use the latest available figures from the World Health Organisation (from 2010) to see which are the most and least dangerous countries to drive in…
The Most Deaths
First of all, we could look at the country with most road deaths in relation to the number of inhabitants. In the case, the winner of this dubious title is Eritrea, with a staggering 48.4 annual road deaths per 100,000 inhabitants.
Surprisingly, Cook Islands is in second place (to be fair, the population is only about 20,000), while the following places are taken by Egypt, Libya, Afghanistan and Iraq.
In terms of most deaths per 100,000 cars first place is taken by Togo, with a scarcely believable 14,050. I am not sure if this number is correct but it is from the World Health Organisation’s statistics. All I can imagine is that there are very few vehicles and lots of serious accidents in Togo.
In second place is Ethiopia, followed by Liberia. These counties also have figures of over 10,000 but the numbers drop off quite sharply after this.
The Least Deaths
Apart from small countries with no reported deaths the safest countries in terms of fatalities per person are the Scandinavian cousins of Sweden, Denmark and Norway, all with around 3 deaths per 100,000 inhabitants. When we look at number of deaths per 100,000 vehicles the lowest total (again, apart from some small countries and islands with no reported deaths) is Malta with 4.6. Next come Iceland, Denmark and the Republic of Ireland.
The UK’s Position
The good news for British drivers is that the UK ranks highly in both categories. In 2010 there were 3.59 road deaths for every 100,000 inhabitants. This places the country just outside the top 20, although many of the higher ranked ones are very small countries. In the same period there were 7 deaths for every 100,000 vehicles (remember that in a few counties this figure is well over 10,000) which again places it amongst the world’s safest countries for driving in.