Thinking of renting a car and driving through Europe this summer? Want to come back alive? Well then, there are a couple of countries you should probably avoid–mainly those located in the Baltics.
According to a recent EU report, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia had the highest number of per capita vehicular fatalities in 2006. Lithuania led the charge with 223 deaths per million inhabitants. Latvia took second with 177 while Estonia grabbed the bronze with 152.
A deeper analysis of the report in the Baltic Times wasn’t able to provide a clear answer as to why driving in the Baltics is such a dangerous ordeal. The paper did point out, however, that alcohol wasn’t entirely to blame. Only 14.8 percent of Lithuania’s fatalities were drunk driving related. Spain, on the other hand, holds the dubious honor of having the highest percentage of drunk driving fatalities: 29.5 percent. France and Portugal follow closely with 28.8 and 27.8 percent respectively.
Hmm… I might be wrong here, but I’ll bet those three countries consume more wine per capita than anywhere else in Europe. Heavy beer drinking countries like the Czech Republic and Austria, on the other hand, experienced only 4.8 and 5.9 percent of fatalities due to drunk driving.
So, where are the safest roads in Europe? Malta with 25 fatalities per million inhabitants followed by the Netherlands (43) and Sweden (49).