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Big rise in road deaths year-on-year in September 2023 in France

Almost 300 people were killed in accidents with a significant rise in the number of driver fatalities

Two cars smashed up after having crashed together

In total, there were 4,896 traffic accidents recorded by law enforcement officers nationwide in September 2023, a 5% increase on September 2022 Pic: Dmitry Kalinovsky / Shutterstock

Road deaths in France rose by 9% in September this year compared to the same month last year, new data shows, with 292 people killed in road traffic accidents.

This compares to 267 people killed in September 2022, said the road safety agency the Sécurité routière.

“In particular, there was a 20% increase in the number of drivers killed, while the number of motorised two-wheeler and bicycle fatalities remained stable,” the road safety watchdog l'Observatoire national interministériel de la sécurité routière (ONISR) stated in a press release.

Read more: What is in the €2bn plan to promote cycling and bike lanes in France? 

Similarly, the number of people injured in road accidents increased by 10% to 1,585 people in September 2023. 

“The rise in the number of serious injuries in September mainly concerned motorised two-wheeler users,” the ONISR said.

In total, there were 4,896 traffic accidents recorded by law enforcement officers nationwide in September 2023, a 5% increase on September 2022.

However, September was an anomaly; over the three months previously, the number of people killed had fallen by 3% year-on-year. The number seriously injured also remained stable for the same period, according to the ONISR.

It comes after a report published in June this year found that the number of road deaths has returned  to (and even exceeded) pre-pandemic levels, after a lull when people were not leaving home as much during successive lockdowns. 

The report found that there were more motorway fatalities in 2022 than 2019, and a 31% increase in cyclist deaths. Overall, fewer people were injured. Excessive speed and alcohol were cited as the two leading causes of accidents (28% and 23% respectively), ahead of drugs and distraction (13% each), illness (10%) and refusing to give way (9%).

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Road accidents in France: Five key trends from new report 
Five things they do not tell you about driving in France
Road deaths in France up almost 10% in January 

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