Number of road traffic fatalities down by 10 per cent in 2008

A total of 6,881 road traffic accidents involving personal injury occurred in 2008. The number of persons killed in these accidents was 344 and 8,513 persons sustained injuries. There were 36 fewer fatalities than in 2007. The number of accidents involving personal injury and the number of injured persons were higher than in the year before.

Table. Road traffic fatalities and injuries 1995-2008

Year Killed Injured Accidents involving
personal injury
1995 441 10,191 7,812
1996 404 9,299 7,274
1997 438 8,957 6,980
1998 400 9,097 6,902
1999 431 9,052 6,997
2000 396 8,508 6,633
2001 433 8,411 6,451
2002 415 8,156 6,196
2003 379 *9,088 *6,907
2004 375 8,791 6,767
2005 379 8,983 7,022
2006 336 8,580 6,740
2007 380 8,446 6,657
2008 344 8,513 6,881
* Compilation method changed

Summer traffic was clearly safer in 2008 than in the year before. In May-June fatalities numbered 33 fewer than in the respective period of the previous year. The number of fatalities was lower especially in head-on collisions. No major accidents occurred in 2008 (min. four fatalities).

The favourable safety development of cyclists which started at the turn of the millennium continued also in 2008. The number of fatalities was down by four from the year before.

Examined by age group, the number of road traffic fatalities rose most among the elderly (aged over 75 years). Fatalities numbered 59, which is 14 more than in 2007. By contrast, the number of road traffic fatalities among persons aged 65 to 74 stayed unchanged and stood at 34.

Children's road traffic fatalities decreased clearly when compared with 2007. A total of 8 children died in road traffic, which is 6 fewer than in 2007.

The number of road traffic fatalities among young people fell clearly as well. In 2008 a total of 76 young people died, whereas in 2007 the corresponding number was 93. A total of 31 passenger car drivers died, which is 16 fewer than in 2007. Ten fewer young people died in head-on collisions and eight fewer in swerving accidents than in the year before. Seventy-one per cent of the young people who died in road traffic accidents were killed in passenger cars. Twenty-nine per cent of the drunk drivers involved in fatal accidents were under 25 years old.

A total of 53 pedestrians were killed in 2008, which is five more than in 2007. Over half of the victims were elderly. Twenty-eight per cent of all the victims died while on a pedestrian crossing.

The number of cyclists' road traffic fatalities was down by four from the year before. There were 18 fatalities in 2008. Over 60 per cent of the victims were elderly.

The number of motorcyclists' road traffic fatalities increased by two from the previous year. There were 13 fatalities in 2008. The number of injured motorcyclists has doubled during the 2000s. In 2008 a total of 1,005 motorcyclists sustained injuries, which is 140 more than in the year before. Motorcyclists made up 12 per cent of all persons having sustained injuries in road traffic. Eighty per cent of those injured were aged 15 to 17 years.

The number of motorcyclists killed was 33, which is three more than in 2007. Of the fatalities, 12 occurred in swerving accidents and 10 in head-on collisions.

The number of fatalities in railway level crossing accidents fell slightly. There were eight fatalities, whereas in 2007 fatalities numbered 10.

A total of 96 persons were killed and 957 persons were injured in drunk driving accidents in 2008. The number of fatalities was up by five and that of injured persons was down by 113 from the year before. Fourteen persons died and 82 were injured in accidents in which an involved person was under the influence of medication or other intoxicating substances. There were 6 more fatalities than in 2007. In 2008 the drunk driving cases known to the police numbered 25,819, which is 1,725 fewer than in 2007.

The growth in traffic during the 2000s stalled in 2008 and vehicle-kilometres decreased by 0.5 per cent. In 2008 over 53 billion kilometres were driven on Finnish roads. The automobile stock grew by more than 5 per cent in 2008. Currently there are already over 3 million cars in Finland.

Figure 1. Road traffic fatalities by age group

Figure 2. Share of road user groups of road traffic fatalities


Last updated 11.6.2009

Referencing instructions:

Official Statistics of Finland (OSF): Statistics on road traffic accidents [e-publication].
ISSN=2342-3846. 2008, Number of road traffic fatalities down by 10 per cent in 2008 . Helsinki: Statistics Finland [referred: 6.12.2019].
Access method: http://www.stat.fi/til/ton/2008/ton_2008_2009-06-11_kat_001_en.html