World Facts

25 Safest Countries To Drive In

Access to quality roads, safe vehicles, and education contribute to low automobile fatality rates in these countries.

Just as traffic mortality figures can draw attention for negative reasons, they can also garner recognition for positive ones as well. San Marino, for instance, has one of the best road safety records globally in that it has for many years registered “zero deaths” through accidents. That figure may sound like some fallacious hyperbole, but it is actually true. San Marino is a tiny nation where much of its transport is not channeled through the highway system, and such an infrastructure provides for a conducive environment for such low death rates. Besides San Marino, other countries which have recorded very low death rates through road accidents are the Federated States of Micronesia and the Maldives, with their figures being stated as averaging 1.8 and 1.9 annual traffic deaths per 100,000 members of their populations, respectively. This leaves these nations to be regarded as having some of the safest driving conditions in the world. \

Large Economies With Low Traffic Fatalities

In the developed world, Iceland has recorded the lowest death rates from highway accidents, with the figures there being quoted at 2.8 annual traffic deaths for every 100,000 people. Other nations whose figures are around that of Iceland are Sweden (3.0 deaths per 100,000), the Netherlands at 3.9, Malta at 3.8, and the United Kingdom at 3.7. These figures could be considered high when compared to those listed above but, relative to a global average which stands at 18.6, such automobile fatality rates are actually an indicator of the great efforts these countries have put forth consistently for years to pinpoint and root out the primary causes of losses of life and property on their roadways.

Within “high income” economies, annual highway fatality values higher than 3.9 per 100,000 are considered quite high. There are many developed countries which fall within this category, and some of the notable nations that can be counted among them are Germany, Israel, Norway, Switzerland, and Ireland, who all register death rates from such causes at between approximately 4 and 5 occurrences per 100,000 people annually. It is worth noting that the countries mentioned here have some of the world’s best transportation systems, but their relatively high figures can be explained by the high proportions of their respective populaces that drive and the frequent manner in which their road systems are put in use. Looking further into high income economies, deaths through highway accidents are considered endemic in such countries as Japan, Spain, Singapore, Australia, and Luxembourg, with their highway death rates standing between 5.1 and 6.0 occurrences per 100,000 people annually. These, however, are still very low in comparison to the world average, but such kinds of figures are very alarming for countries with quality highways, and far better than those seen in North America and the Caribbean.

The Rest of the World Lags Well Behind In Road Safety

In the United States, rates at last count stood at 11.4 highway deaths per 100,000 people annually, at 6.8 in Canada, 7.8 in Cuba, 13.7 in the Bahamas, 14.7 in Mexico, and 11.6 in Jamaica. While much worse than European norms, these did not even approach those of the world’s highest rates, where annual traffic deaths in excess of 30 occurrences per 100,000 people are registered. Many of the victims are often cyclists or pedestrians, who are using the same highways and byways as motor vehicles are. Increased recognition of non-motorists’ rights on the road may therefore go a long way in reducing highway fatalities worldwide, as will better drivers’ education initiatives and more stringently enforced vehicle safety regulations.

The Countries With The Fewest Car Accidents In The World

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RankRoad traffic death rate (per 100 000 population)
1San Marino0.0
2Federated States of Micronesia1.8
7United Kingdom3.7
12Saint Vincent and the Grenadines4.6

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