Press release: 12.553-144/21

139 fatalities in single-vehicle accidents in 2020; two thirds of all single-vehicle accidents caused by drivers of single-track vehicles

Vienna, 2021-06-29 – In 2020, a total of 10 883 single-vehicle accidents (36%), 17 710 accidents with two parties involved (59%) and a further 1 598 accidents with more than two parties involved (5%) were recorded on Austria's roads, each with a main accident originator. According to Statistics Austria, single-vehicle accidents have the highest share of serious injuries (24%) and fatalities (1.2%) among the accident victims in these groups (see Table 1). In 2020, 139 people died in single-vehicle accidents, and a further 2 873 people were seriously injured. 64% of the single-vehicle accidents were caused by cyclists and drivers of single-track motorbikes. In contrast, in accidents involving two people, 15% were seriously injured and 0.8% were killed; 65% of these accidents were caused by drivers of passenger cars. This is the result of an analysis of data from the current Statistics Austria publication "Road Traffic Accidents 2020".

Bicycles and motorcycles or mopeds dominate single-vehicle accidents

68% of accidents caused by cyclists in 2020 were single-vehicle accidents (2019: 64%). 16 riders of those bicycles were killed, while 4 209 were injured, 30% of them seriously. Among drivers of motorcycles and mopeds, a very high proportion of accidents in 2020 was due to single-vehicle accidents as well, namely 65% (2019: 62%). In these solo accidents, 35 male drivers were killed. Another 2 693 male and female drivers were injured, 31% of them seriously.

Accidents with two parties involved: car most often responsible for accidents

If a passenger car was involved in an accident with another road user on Austria's roads in 2020, it also caused this accident in 65% of the accidents. This is the highest value of all traffic types; only the share of trucks, at 64%, is similarly high. Pedestrians have the lowest share. In 30% of the accidents in which they were involved, they also caused them. Bicycles are only slightly higher at 31% (see Table 2).

There is a clear tendency for vulnerable road users to cause accidents less frequently. Yet one out of four accidents between cars and pedestrians is caused by the pedestrian. Bicyclists are responsible in 28% of the accidents between a bicycle and a car, while trucks are the originators in 59% of the cases in the event of an accident with a car. If, on the other hand, an accident occurs between a truck and a bicycle, the driver of the truck causes the accident in 77% of the accidents.

Within the accidents with two participants, accidents between two passenger cars make up the largest group. This is not surprising, as passenger cars are also the most frequent road users in absolute terms. If passenger cars are blameless involved in an accident, this happens in 64% of the cases in an accident with another passenger car, followed by a wide margin by accidents in which the driver of moped or motorcycle is the originator of the accident (11%).

Accident originators are mostly male and young

Two out of three people who caused accidents in 2020 were men (67%). Among the casualties in accidents, the proportion of males was 57%, which means that, in percentage terms, men cause accidents with personal injury more often than they are involved in.

The analysis by age group shows the high proportion of young people causing accidents. The group with the largest share was by far the one between 15 and 24 years of age with 22% of the accident originators. The smallest share (1%) was obtained by the group older than 84 years.

For more detailed information please refer to the publication "Road Traffic Accidents 2020" (PDF, 2 MB) only in Germany or the German version.

Information on methods, definitions: Since 2012, road traffic accidents involving personal injury have been recorded electronically by police authorities. The necessary data is transmitted to Statistics Austria via an interface.  
A road traffic accident with personal injury occurs when persons are injured or killed as a result of traffic on public roads and at least one vehicle in motion was involved. 
Casualties include persons injured or killed in and as a result of an accident. 
Traffic fatalities are persons who died either at the location of the accident or within 30 days of the accident event as a result of the accident. 
The information on the "presumed main accident originator" is provided according to the estimation of the police bodies carrying out the registration of the accident. The recording of this characteristic is obligatory, but it is also possible to record an accident with more than one accident originator or no accident originator. In order to ensure interpretable results, the analyses were based on the mass of accidents (2020: 98.4%) with exactly one accident originator, who must be either the driver of a vehicle or a pedestrian.


Table 1: Casualties1) for accidents with one accident originator by number of accident involvements and degree of injury, 2020
Degree of injurysingle-vehicle accidentsAccidents with two involvementsAccidents with more than two involvementsOverall
Slightly injured74.7%84.4%88.1%81.6%
Seriously injured24.1%14.8%11.1%17.5%
Fatally injured1.2%0.8%0.8%0.9%
Table 2: Accidents with two parties involved and one accident originator, by traffic type of the accident originator and the non-accident originator, 2020
CategoriesPedestriansBicycles1)MotorcyclesPassengercarsTrucksOther vehiclesOverall
Involvements at accidents with two different road users 2 5353 9133 0609 1662 2171 15322 044
therof were accident causing 7621 2091 2105 9691 42444811 022
thereof were non-accident causing 1 7732 7041 8503 19779370511 022
Share of "accident causing involvements"30.1%30.9%39.5%65.1%64.2%38.9%50%
Share of "non-accident causing involvements" 69.9%69.1%60.5%34.9%35.8%61.1%50%

For further inquiries please contact Directorate Spatial Statistics, Statistics Austria:  
Eveline PFEILER, Tel.: +43 1 71128-7223 resp. and 
Brigitte ALLEX, Tel.: +43 1 71128-7553 resp.

Media owner, producer and publisher: 
STATISTICS AUSTRIA, Federal Institution under Public Law 
1110 Vienna, Austria, Guglgasse 13, Tel.: +43 1 71128-7777