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How safe are the roads around the World? We look at the road traffic deaths to see whose roads are the most dangerous and where the safest roads in the world are to be found...

If you're driving in a different country, it pays to be prepared and to know the local rules of the roads. Use our Drive Smart Guides to drive safely anywhere in the world.

Road Deaths by Country

The Worlds most dangerous and safest roads revealed...

Road safety is high on the agenda for many, from traffic calming and speed reduction schemes, to improvements in car safety, most western countries are seeing a steady reduction in deaths on the roads, however that’s not true for all countries where some alarmingly high death rates are attributed to using the roads. Whilst still (thankfully) very uncommon, you are far more likely to be killed in a road traffic accident than any other form of transportation. In fact, across the whole of Europe in 2013, there were only 8 deaths associated with air traffic accidents, 1,130 deaths from railway accidents, but a staggering 16,932 road traffic deaths – you are over 2,000 times more likely to die on the roads than you are in the sky! That said, we want statistics like that on our side as many of use a car everyday!

road traffic deaths by country

Road Deaths by Total Volume by Country - 2016

It’s of little surprise to see that India, China and Brazil have the highest number of deaths on the roads. There are mitigating factors however to consider and that is one of population. Whilst India has the highest recorded road deaths of any country in the world with near 300,000 people losing their lives on the roads, it also have one of the highest populations at 1.3 billion. Most alarmingly for India however is the fact that between 2013 and 2016, deaths on the roads have increased by a staggering 44%. China on the other hand, the country with the second most recorded road deaths in 2016 at 256,000 has seen a decline of 2% since 2013. Whilst third on the list of total road deaths, Brazil with over 46,000 people dying on its roads in 2016 has witnessed a 13% decrease since 2013.

road deaths by country

Road Deaths by Country per 100,000 Population - 2016

A more representative statistic on road safety however is when you relate total number of deaths on the roads to the population. We’ve calculated the number of deaths per 100,000 population for all countries to determine which country has the most dangerous roads in the world. Liberia has the highest number of roads deaths per 100,000 citizens with 35.9 people per 100,000 dying on the roads in 2016. With a population of 4.6m, it’s a poor record. Saint Lucia is second with 35.4 people per 100,000 dying, however with a population of just 200,000 that could easily be swayed by relatively few deaths. In fact, back in 2013 around half the number of road deaths were recorded at must 18.5 deaths per 100,000. Zimbabwe comes in third with 34.7 deaths on the roads per 100,000, up 40% from 2013. (click for full size images)

most dangerous roads in world deaths Road Deaths by country population

Do Richer Countries Have Safer Roads?

Generally yes, it’s no great surprise when we look at road deaths by population to see the most dangerous roads in the world are often found in the poorest nations. Africa in general is home to most of the most dangerous roads in the world with an average of near 30 deaths per 100,000 population. South Africa and Morocco are the safest countries to drive in Arica, although still some way from richer nations. The richest nations in the world generally have the safest roads, with the UK, most of Europe, the USA and Australia having some of the highest road safety standards resulting in the lowest death rates on the roads. The UK has some of the safest roads in world with just 3.1 recorded deaths per 100,000 citizens.
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