Risk of death and injury lowest in railways

Aeriel view of Stonehaven derailment in Scotland, source: Rail Accident Investigations Branch

Railways offer the smallest risk of death and injury of all means of everyday transport per so-called passenger-kilometre, research published by German transport association Allianz pro Schiene on Thursday shows.

Conducted over a period of ten years between 2011 and 2020, the comparison between rail, buses and passenger cars hows that motorists have a 57-times greater chance of being killed in traffic. The risk of injuries is 150 times greater.

“Those who take the train not only protect the climate, but also do something for their own safety and that of others,” said Dirk Flege, managing director of the pro Schiene Alliance.

While no explanation for the difference is given, the total number of passenger-kilometres covered by cars in Germany is nine time greater than that of trains, which also do not have to mix with other forms of transport like buses and passenger cars.

That said, even in countries where the railways have highest number of deaths per billion person-kilometers, trains remain the safest mode of transport. Spain, Bulgaria and Hungary top de list of ‘worst-performing’ railways, with 0,42, 0,41 and 0,36 deaths per billion person-kilometers, respectively.

“The message for politicians is also clear: more rail means fewer traffic accidents”, added Flege. The German government, for the past decade, has worked to decrease the number of traffic fatalities. While a 25-percent reduction from 3.648 to 2.719 deaths was achieved, it fell short of the government’s target of 40 percent less fatalities in 2020.

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Author: Nick Augusteijn

Chief Editor, RailTech.com

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