The number of people killed on the motorway in 2020 saw an all-time low (127 deaths) under the effect of travel restrictions linked to the health crisis, according to the annual report of the ASFA (Association of French motorway companies) published this Friday.

These figures match those of the entire metropolitan road network, which also recorded in 2020 its lowest toll since the post-war period (2,541 people killed).

Like those of Road Safety, the figures of the ASFA, which brings together the private concessionaires managing 9,180 of the 12,000 kilometers of French motorways, are however in trompe-l'oeil, the Covid-19 pandemic having resulted in a restriction of traffic and a change in travel patterns.

The decrease compared to 2019 (-18%) is therefore lower than that of traffic (-22%).

As a result, the fatality rate per billion kilometers traveled is slightly higher in 2020 than in 2019 (1.6 to 1.5).

Freewheel effect

“We saw a few big speeding tickets.

The “free route” effect has created some aspirations, ”explains Christophe Boutin, general delegate of ASFA.

As a result of confinement and curfew restrictions, the main factors of fatal accidents are on the decline.

Thus, the “alcohol, drugs and medication” factor (main cause of 14.9% of fatal accidents) fell by more than 6 points and fell to second place, behind the “drowsiness and fatigue” factor (15.8%, - 5 pts).

The proportion of fatal accidents due to inattention (14%) is also falling (-6 pts).

“With the confinements, only the essential journeys remained, mainly carried out by professionals.

A population that drives much more often and is less likely to have an accident, ”emphasizes Christophe Boutin.


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  • Society

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