Last year, 570 people were killed in traffic accidents on Dutch roads. After a distinct decline byy 12 percent in 2013, the number of road deaths remained stable in 2014, as figures released by Statistics Netherlands (CBS) and the National Agency for Waterways and Public Works (Rijkswaterstaat) as part of the Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment show.
Since 2000, the traffic death toll has been reduced by half to 570 in 2014. The most substantial reduction in the total number of fatal traffic accidents over the past fifteen years was recorded among car passengers.
Approximately as many fatal accidents among cyclists and as among car passengers
The number of fatal road accidents among cyclists and car passengers was about the same in 2014. Each category accounted for one-third of the total annual traffic death toll.
The number of fatal accidents among young cyclists (under the age of 15) has risen from 5 in 2013 to 13 in 2014. In 2013, fewer motor cyclists died in traffic, but in 2014 the number of fatal motorcycle accidents rose again to the level recorded in 2011 and 2012.
Last year, 411 men and 159 women died in traffic accidents. Three-quarters of all road deaths were men. The ratio of male to female deaths has been stable in recent years.
Death toll among car passengers distinctly down over the past 15 years
Over the past fifteen years, the largest reduction in the total number of road deaths was recorded among car passengers. With 543 victims, this mode of transport accounted for half of all traffic deaths in 2000, but for only one-third (187 fatalities) in 2014. The number of fatal accidents was reduced most dramatically from 173 in 2000 to 42 in 2014 among car passengers in the age category 20-30. Advanced technology has improved road safety and car passengers are better protected. Other factors are the construction of roundabouts and the effects of drink-driving campaigns.
The total number of fatal accidents involving cyclists has decreased by only 20 percent since 2000 and has been stable over the past decade with approximately 180 fatal accidents on an annual basis.
Highest death toll among over-70s
The distribution of road deaths by age has changed since 2000. In that year, the traffic death toll was highest among people in their twenties, whereas in 2014 over-70s are the largest category. With 209 fatal accidents, this age group accounts for nearly 40 percent of the annual traffic death toll. The share of over-70s in the Dutch population is nearly 12 percent.
The only absolute increase in road deaths is recorded among over-80s. Last year, 103 people over the age of 80 died in traffic accidents, versus 78 in 2000. Most fatal traffic accidents in this age category involved cyclists (37 percent). The increase is consistent the ageing of the population. Per 100 thousand over-80s in the population, the number of fatalities has marginally declined since 2000.
Most victims in North Brabant
In the province of North Brabant, the amount of traffic deaths rose from 81 in 2013 to 100 in 2014. The province of Gelderland had the highest death toll in 2013, when 99 lives were lost in traffic. The death toll in Gelderland was reduced to 77 in 2014. As a result, North Brabant accounts for the highest number of traffic deaths, just as before 2013. North Brabant and Gelderland have the most extensive road networks of all Dutch provinces.