Which accident killed most of the people?

Risk in road traffic: by car and motorcycle

55 million motorized vehicles are registered in Germany, including 44 million cars and four million motorcycles with registration plates (2014).
For many people, trips by car or motorcycle are a matter of course every day. However, the risks associated with these activities are rarely questioned. The official accident statistics provide information on what happened in the accident: With 47 percent of road fatalities and 55 percent of injuries, car occupants make up the largest group of accident victims. 17 percent of those killed were on the road at the time of the accident.

Based on the number of vehicles involved, seven motorcyclists and five car occupants were involved in accidents for every 1,000 vehicles. The risk of being killed in a traffic accident for motorcycle users, with 14 fatalities per 100,000 registered vehicles, was several times higher than for car occupants, in which four people per 100,000 registered vehicles were killed. If you take into account the lower mileage covered by motorcycles, the ratio appears even more unfavorable.

Most accidents involving cars and motorcycles occur in urban areas. While only a quarter of all accidents are recorded outside of the city, 60 percent of traffic victims die there. Six percent of all accidents occur on the motorways, and one in ten fatalities occurs on these routes. In terms of accident types, the “turning / crossing accident” comes first, and every third accident in urban areas falls into this category. Almost every third accident in which a person riding a motorcycle was injured or killed was a solo accident. In accidents involving cars, around every ninth accident is a solo accident, and every sixth in accidents with fatalities. The most frequent opponents of motorcycles in collisions are cars, at around 80 percent. Over two thirds of these collisions are caused by the drivers of the cars.

In the case of accidents with personal injury caused by car drivers, the most common misconduct was “turning, turning, reversing, driving in and starting”, followed by “right of way, priority” and too little distance. Unadjusted speed ranks fourth. In the case of motorcycles, the most common mistakes alleged were inappropriate speed, insufficient distance and mistakes when overtaking.

If you look at the fatal accidents, excessive speed is by far the top priority for drivers of cars. This is followed by improper road use and inability to drive, especially due to alcohol. In motorcycle accidents with fatalities, the most common misconduct on the part of motorcyclists was, by a considerable margin, inappropriate speed, followed by errors when overtaking and improper use of the road.

With regard to the accident, different risk groups can be distinguished: Men are at a higher risk of accidents than women, in particular they are more likely to be victims of fatal traffic accidents (see "Risk in road traffic: as a man - woman" on this website). Compared to women, men are more likely to be involved in alcohol, speed and distance accidents.

Young drivers (up to 25 years of age) have an above-average risk of accidents. They also appear more often as the main cause of accidents. Driving accidents without outside influence are recorded more often with them. In relation to 1,000 participants, younger people are more often accused of inappropriate speed and distance errors than average, while turning errors or disregarding the right of way increase significantly with age.

Older people (aged 65 and over) are also disproportionately often the main culprit behind the wheel. Obviously, you lose track of things more quickly in complex situations. Accidents due to excessive speed and alcohol play less of a role in this group.

Accidents involving car drivers not only affect the users of these vehicles, but also those who are involved in the accident: primarily cyclists and people walking. Cars are often involved in collisions with bicycles and people walking. Due to the lack of passive safety, such accidents often have serious consequences for the weaker road users.

Federal Statistical Office: Traffic Accidents 2014. Fach Series 8 Series 7, Wiesbaden 2014
Federal Statistical Office: Traffic accidents. Two-wheeler accidents in road traffic 2014, Wiesbaden 2015

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