Motor vehicles
02. May 2021
Far fewer traffic accidents despite big increase in vehicles

Traffic statistics in the Faroe Islands have changed significantly since the turn of the century, with twice the number of vehicles and two-thirds fewer accidents

More than twice as many vehicles as in 2000

From 1 January 2000 to 1 January 2021, the number of registered motor vehicles increased from just under 19,000 to just over 40,000 – an increase of more than 21,000. This figure includes a 13,000-increase in passenger cars. The increase in cars is has been proportionally greater than the population growth, with more than three people per car in 2000 and two people per car in 2021. For the 18+ driving-age population, this figure was 2.3 in 2000 compared to 1.5 in 2021.

Traffic accidents down by two-thirds

The start of this century saw an annual average of 1,200-1,300 traffic accidents. This figure has since decreased steadily to 410 in 2020, according to figures from the police.

The number of accidents with personal injury has also come down.

In the mid-00s, the annual number of accidents with personal injury was between 60 and 70 up until 2008. The figure then dropped significantly and has since remained steady between 25 and 30.

No traffic fatalities were registered in 2020. One was registered in 2019 and none again in 2018, which was the first year in more than 50 years with no traffic fatalities. Six traffic fatalities were registered in the 2016-2020 period. In the previous five-year period (2011-2015), this figure was 15.


There has also been a significant decrease in drink driving charges. In the first eight years of this century, the numbers of annual drink-driving charges were between 150 and 200. In 2009, the blood alcohol content (BAC) limit was lowered from 0.5 to 0.2. This change is clearly reflected in the statistics, with the number of drink-driving charges dropping down to about 100 per year. After record-low figures in 2017 and 2018, the number of charges has increased slightly in the past couple of years.


Steady increase in vehicles since 2000

The number of registered vehicles has increased steadily by about 1,000 per year since the turn of the century, with the exception of a slight dip during the financial crisis in 2009-2011.

The table below, with figures from the Faroese Vehicle Administration, shows an increase in all types of vehicles, except one: in 2000, there were 92 taxis; by 2018, this figure had increased to 109, but it has since dropped significantly, to 69 in 2020 and to 43 in 2021.