Almost all countries in the European Union saw road fatalities decline between 2010 and 2017, with only Malta reporting a rise for this period, according to data from the European Commission.
Some 25,300 people lost their lives on EU roads in 2017, marking a 2% decline from fatalities recorded in 2016, and a 20% decline from 2010.
Compared to 2010, Greece, Estonia and Latvia saw the biggest decline in road fatalities per million inhabitants, at -41%, -39% and -38% respectively.
Malta was the only country to record an increase over the seven-year period, with 43 road deaths per million inhabitants in 2017, compared to 31 in 2010.
However, the country did record a year-on-year improvement of -17%.
The data showed that the only two countries in the EU reporting a road fatality rate higher than 80 deaths per million inhabitants were Romania and Bulgaria.
But despite the improvements, the Commission stressed that more needs to be done.
“While this trend is encouraging, reaching the EU objective of halving road fatalities between 2010 and 2020 will now be very challenging,” it said in a statement.
In addition to the fatalities, some 135,000 people were injured on EU roads last year, including a large number of pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists.
“Road safety is of course a responsibility shared with the member states, but I believe that the EU can do more to better protect Europeans,” said Commissioner for Transport Violeta Bulc.
“The Commission is currently working on a series of concrete measures that we plan to announce in the coming weeks. The ambition is clear: saving more lives on our roads.”