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The Most Dangerous Roads in France

Road accident figures released by the French government show the most dangerous and safest departments in France.

The figures come from L'Observatoire National de Sécurité Routière (ONISR) the French road safety statistical service.

ONISR use an index figure to determine the level of safety, based on the number of deaths within each department and the nature and quality of the road infrastructure within it.

On the basis that the national average is 1, then the higher the index figure, the greater the risk. Below 1 then the department is lower than the national average.

Thus, in the following table the most dangerous department in France is Southern Corsica, which is four time more dangerous than the safest department, the Côte d'Or in Burgundy (1.89/0.48).

The table below shows the ten most dangerous departments and the ten safest departments.

Outside of the figures on the table Charente comes in 15th place, Dordogne comes in 19th place (1.28) and Herault in 25th place ( 1.26).

Departmental Accident Rates
RankingDepartmentAccident Rate
1South Corsica (2A)1.89
2Tarn (81)1.84
3North Corsica 1.76
4Yonne (89)1.72
5Tarn-et-Garonne (82)1.58
6Maritime Alps (06)1.57
=6Aude (11)1.57
8Lot-et-Garonne (47)1.49
9Alpes-de-Haute-Provence (04)1.45
10Gers (32)1.42
86Gironde (33)0.74
=86Yvelines (78)0.74
88Landes (40)0.73
=88Haut-Rhin (68)0.73
90Rhone (69)0.71
=90Ille-et-Vilaine (35)0.71
92Hauts-de-Seine (92)0.67
93Calvados (14)0.63
94Savoie (73)0.53
95Cote d'Or (21)0.48

If the quality of the road infrastructure is ignored then the most dangerous department in France is Loir-et-Cher with 178 deaths per million inhabitants. It is followed by Aude (168/m) and Gers (159/m).

Safest departments are around Paris – Seine Saint-Denis (20/m) Haut de Seine (22/m) and Val de Marne (23/m).

As a general rule, rural areas compare unfavourably to more urban areas due to the lower density of the population in rural areas, where longer journey times are more frequent, and because of the presence of public transport systems within urban areas.

There are around 5000 road deaths in France each year, a figure far lower than was the case in the 1970s, when around 18,000 people were dying each year on the road.

The following map shows the overall position of each department across the country.

Related Reading:

This article was featured in our Newsletter dated 01/06/2010

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