Annual costs of road accidents still high in Poland

Annual costs of road crashes in Poland reached 2.7 percent of GDP in 2018, down from 3 percent three years earlier, according to the National Road Safety Council data.

“The cost of all road accidents in Poland in 2018 totalled PLN 56.6 billion (EUR 12.3 billion) or 2.7 percent of GDP. Three years earlier, it was PLN 48.2 billion (EUR 10.5 billion) or 3 percent of GDP,” a spokesman for the Infrastructure Ministry has told PAP, quoting the council's data.

In 2020, Polish car insurers paid out PLN 14.5 billion (EUR 3.2 billion) in compensation for road accidents, according to the Polish Chamber of Insurance.

According to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), Poland is the second least safest country after the US as regards road traffic. “The number of deaths due to road accidents in Poland stands at 76 per one million, whereas, for example, in Germany it is over twofold lower at 36,” a Polish Economic Institute (PIE) expert said, quoting OECD data.

The average number of deaths in other big EU countries stands at around 50.

Jakub Rybacki, an expert at the Polish Economics Institute attributed this situation to the still insufficient road infrastructure, but admitted that “Poland has been making progress in the construction of expressways or ring roads.”

“In 2008, the number of deaths due to road accidents was two times higher,” he added.

According to Rybacki, the poor condition of vehicles as well as too lenient penalties for drivers are another significant problem.

Following a tragic accident in Poland in early July, in which two adults were killed in a collision caused by a drunk driver, Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki announced legislative changes designed to improve road safety in Poland, including stiffer penalties for dangerous and drunk drivers.

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