The present research aims to investigate the effect of annual Gross Domestic Product (GDP) changes on annual changes in road traffic fatality rates in the European Union. On that purpose, fatality rates and GDP per capita data were used from 24 European countries for the period 1975-2011. Linear Mixed Models were developed and applied for all European countries tested, as well as for the different groups of countries that were selected (northwest, southern, eastern countries). The results led to the conclusion that an annual increase of GDP per capita leads to an annual increase in fatality rates in all groups of countries, whereas an annual decrease of GDP per capita leads to an annual decrease in fatality rates in southern and eastern countries. In the case of northwest countries, a lagged effect of the impact of annual GDP decrease to the road fatality rates was found to be significant.