Further reduction traffic deaths

22/04/2010 15:00
  • 720 traffic deaths in 2009
  • Dramatic reduction in the age category 30-60
  • Increase among over-80s
  • Most traffic deaths still recorded in the 20-30 age group
  • Reduction in recent years predominantly among motorists

Last year, 720 people were killed on Dutch roads, a reduction by 30 (4 percent) relative to 2008. The reduction is mainly recorded among 30 to 60-year-olds and motorists. The downward trend in recent years appears to continue as figures released today by Statistics Netherlands and the Department of Traffic and Shipping (DVS) of the Ministry of Transport, Public Works and Water Management demonstrate.

A substantial reduction by more than 20 percent relative to 2008 is recorded in the age category 30-60 and mainly occurs among men. The total traffic death toll within this age group is unprecedentedly low.

The traffic death toll among people aged 60 years and older has not dropped noticeably in recent years. Since 2004, the number of road deaths under the age of 60 has been reduced by 26 percent, while the number of traffic deaths above the age of 60 has been reduced by only 1.5 percent. This is partly because the population over 60 has grown considerably since 2004. If figures are adjusted for this effect, the number of traffic deaths above the age of 60 is still dropping less rapidly than in the category under 60.

After a marginal decline in 2008, the road traffic death toll among over-80s has risen again considerably in 2009. The increase mainly occurs among men and motorists. Most fatal traffic accidents still occur in the age category 20-30.

Motorists mainly account for the reduction in road deaths. Over the past six years, the number of fatal accidents in this type of road users has been reduced by more than 30 percent. The death toll in more vulnerable road user categories like pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists has remained fairly stable in recent years.

Just like in the last few years, most fatal traffic accidents happened in the province of North Brabant in 2009. North Brabant has the most extensive road network of all Dutch provinces. Yet, the number of fatal road accidents in North Brabant is also reducing on an annual basis. In 2009, the province of Flevoland again had the smallest number of traffic deaths, but Flevoland has the least dense road network.

Mortality due to traffic accidents has shown a downward trend since the mid-1970s. In that period, the annual traffic death toll exceeded 3 thousand. In the mid-1970s, safety belts for front seat drivers and helmets for moped riders became obligatory. In the early 21st century, approximately 1,100 people annually died in road accidents. After the decline in recent years, the total number of fatal traffic accidents dropped further last year. Although the total distance travelled over Dutch roads has increased by 35 percent since 1990, the number of traffic deaths has been reduced by almost half over the same period.