Personal injuries from road accidents rising in Estonia

Scooters in the snow in Tallinn.
Scooters in the snow in Tallinn. Source: Priit Mürk/ERR

Almost 500 road accidents have been recorded between January and May 2022 and the number of personal injuries is rising, data shows.

In total, 478 accidents were recorded, an increase of 18 on the same period last year, said Villu Vane, an expert at the Transport Administration. There were 557 reported injuries, 21 more than last year.

"If we talk about deaths in traffic accidents, 22 people have already died this year, and that is seven times more than a year ago," he told ERR.

Vane said there has been a significant rise in the number of accidents over the last two years. This may be down to the inclusion of "light traffic", such as scooters, into the statistics which started last year.

While there were 44 reported accidents last spring, there were 63 this year. "These numbers are relatively small, but it is still a significant increase," he said.

Sirle Loigo, a law enforcement officer at the Police and Border Guard Board, did not rule out "light traffic" as the reason for the rise.

"Light traffic is a new thing and it is not supported by infrastructure. It is still very much the case that people's driving skills are still not fully developed and so accidents are easy to come by," she said.

While scooters are supposed to be limited to 25 kilometers per hour, some companies create vehicles that have higher top speeds. Loigo said these can be used on Estonia's roads if they were made before 2021, when new laws were introduced, but not after.

Data from accidents involving "light vehicles" show 75 percent are caused by the driver losing control and almost 30 percent involve alcohol.


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Editor: Helen Wright

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