Traffic death toll marginally up in 2011

  • 2011 traffic death toll at 661
  • Increase among older cyclists
  • Fewer car passengers and motorcyclists perish in traffic
  • Death toll relatively high in December 2011

Last year, 661 people died in road accidents in the Netherlands, i.e. a 3.3 percent increase from 2010 with 640 fatal accidents. The death toll was particularly high among older cyclists. The downward trend observed in prior years among car passengers and motorcyclists continued, according to the most recent figures relesed by Statistics Netherlands (CBS) and the Centre for Transport and Navigation (DVS) of the Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment. Minister Schultz van Haegen (Infrastructure and the Environment) will announce these figures today at the National Traffic Safety Congress.

The traffic death toll among over-65s was 269 last year, i.e. 60 more than in 2010. Over-65s entirely account for the increase. Among over-80s, 126 people died in traffic accidents versus 94 in 2010.

The reduction is quite obvious in the age bracket 20-65. The number of traffic deaths in this age category declined by 11 percent from 367 in 2010 to 328 in 2011. 

The number of fatal traffic accidents rose dramatically among cyclists, from 38 to 200. The death toll among moped drivers also increased, but the number of car passengers, lorry drivers and motorcyclists who died in traffic accidents declined.

Nearly two thirds of victims among cyclists in 2011 were over-65s. The death toll in this age category rose from 93 in 2010 to 128 in 2011.

The rise in fatal accidents in 2011 was largely due to the high amount of fatal accidents in December. With 81 victims, December was the month with the highest number of traffic deaths in 2011 and substantially higher than the average traffic death toll in December.

Traffic mortality has declined since the mid-1970s. At the time, more than 3 thousand people annually died on Dutch roads. Since 1972 – the year with the highest death toll – traffic mortality has been reduced by 80 percent.