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Road accident statistics 2023: Fewer serious injuries, more pedestrians killed, drugs in road traffic remain a problem
Interior Minister Herbert Reul: If common sense falls by the wayside, death is a passenger
Ministry of the Interior of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia
Ministry of the Interior NRW

Interior Minister Herbert Reul presented the traffic accident statistics for 2023 in Düsseldorf on Monday, March 18, 2024. In total, there were around 640,000 road accidents on North Rhine-Westphalian roads in 2023. This is an increase of 4.5 percent compared to the previous year. Overall, however, the North Rhine-Westphalia police recorded a twelve percent decrease in the number of serious injuries. 450 people lost their lives on the roads. 101 of them were pedestrians.

Interior Minister Herbert Reul: "Even the most advanced assistance systems cannot prevent people from dying and being seriously injured on our roads. Every road accident is avoidable. If common sense falls by the wayside, death is a passenger. Shift down a gear and shift up a gear when it comes to responsibility."

Accidents involving e-scooters have doubled in the past two years [2021: 1,107; 2022: 1,834; 2023: 2,294]. In 2023, 2,115 accidents were registered. In 2022, the figure was 1,663. Four people died in an accident involving an e-scooter. 
The police registered 881 accidents in which the cause of the accident was drugs or other intoxicating substances. More than ever before. The police also counted more drug-related deaths than in the previous year. In 2023, ten people lost their lives while driving under the influence of drugs.

Minister Reul: "You don't need to be a traffic expert to predict how the traffic accident situation will develop if weed becomes legal. The legalization of cannabis will lead to more fatalities."

Last year, the police registered 2,144 illegal motor vehicle races. More than ever before. 526 of these ended in a traffic accident. This is the highest number since the introduction of the criminal offense. The number has been increasing from year to year since illegal motor vehicle racing has been recorded. Last year, there were three fatalities.

The head of the traffic department at the Ministry of the Interior, Maria del Carmen Fernandez Mendez, emphasizes: "Every death is one too many. Police officers are out on the streets around the clock fighting for the lives of every single person. We have realigned our strategy for greater safety on the roads, cycle paths and freeways under the 'hashtag' LIFE. The term sums up the police's efforts to reduce serious traffic accidents. However, preventing accidents is not just a duty of the police - all road users are responsible for life on our roads - everyone bears responsibility."

There have been positive developments for two-wheelers. There has been a 32 percent decrease in the number of cyclists killed. Last year, 36 cyclists died. That is 16 fewer than in 2022. 
In 2023, fewer people were killed in pedelec accidents. There was a decrease of 18 percent here. In 2023, 40 people lost their lives in pedelec accidents.

A decline can also be seen in the number of motorcyclists. The number of road accidents with injuries has now fallen for the fourth year in a row. In 2019, there were 3,659 accidents. In 2023, only 2,821 were recorded. 57 people lost their lives in motorcycle accidents in 2023.


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