Traffic death toll up by 11 percent in 2018

© Hollandse Hoogte
In 2018, 678 people died in traffic accidents in the Netherlands. This is 65 more than in the previous year. Traffic mortality was mainly up among occupants of passenger cars, cyclists and mobility scooter riders. In the province of Noord-Brabant, the number of road deaths increased from 98 in 2017 to 150 in 2018, according to figures released by Statistics Netherlands (CBS).

Traffic deaths by sex
JaarWomen and menMenWomen
20001166861305
20011083816267
20021066790276
20031088804284
2004881630251
2005817594223
2006811576235
2007791574217
2008750552198
2009720524196
2010640475165
2011661477184
2012650479171
2013570419151
2014570411159
2015621458163
2016629458171
2017613453160
2018678485193

Last year, there were 678 traffic deaths, 10.6 percent more than in 2017. This is the largest increase since 1989. The decline in the traffic death toll as of the 1970s came to an end in 2014.

In 2018, 485 men and 193 women were killed in traffic. Traffic mortality rose among both sexes. A total of 233 passenger car occupants were killed on the road, including 173 drivers and 60 passengers. Road fatalities further included 228 cyclists (both regular bicycle and e-bike riders), 54 pedestrians, 44 mobility scooter riders, 42 motorcyclists and 38 (light-)moped riders.

Traffic deaths, mode of transport
 20182017
Passenger car233201
Bicycle228206
Pedestrian5458
Mobility scooter4425
Motorcycle4251
Moped / Light moped3841
Lorry and delivery van2625
Other136

More victims among older car occupants

Half (32 persons) of the increase in last year’s traffic death toll were passenger car occupants, while the other half concerned cyclists (22) and mobility scooter riders (19). The number of car occupants who lost their lives mainly rose among people over the age of 70: from 34 to 66. Traffic mortality also increased among young people aged 15 to 24 years, namely from 34 to 52.

The number of cyclist fatalities increased by 10 percent, from 206 in 2017 to 228 in 2018. Last year, there was virtually no increase in the number of cycling casualties among the elderly (over-60s), but there was among people aged 50 to 59. The death toll among mobility scooter riders went up from 25 in 2017 to 44 in 2018 and is back at the level of 2015 and 2016.
One-third of all fatal traffic accidents was due to a collision with a passenger car or delivery van, nearly 14 percent involved a lorry or bus and 21 percent concerned a collision with a tree or another fixed object. Over 22 percent of all traffic fatalities were not caused by a collision. More than half of these occurred among cyclists and mobility scooter riders.

Traffic deaths by age, 2018
 Passenger carBicycle
Under 12 yrs42
12 to 17 yrs711
18 to 24 yrs456
25 to 34 yrs397
35 to 49 yrs4018
50 to 64 yrs2647
65 to 74 yrs2751
75 to 84 yrs2856
85 yrs and over1730

Bicycle greatest risk for elderly, car for young people

Almost half of over-50s killed in traffic last year were cyclists. Two-thirds of cyclist fatalities concerned victims between 50 and 84 years. Among 18 to 25-year-olds, 68 percent of traffic deaths involved a car occupant killed in a car accident. This type of road fatalities was also most prevalent among 25 to 49-year-olds. As a result, the general picture is that older traffic victims (over-50s) were relatively often involved in a bicycle accident, while younger people (under 50 years) were mainly victims in a car accident.

Traffic deaths per province, 2018
Provincie20182017
Noord-Brabant15098
Zuid-Holland10097
Gelderland9383
Noord-Holland9081
Limburg5846
Overijssel 4965
Utrecht3340
Friesland2726
Drenthe2620
Groningen2225
Zeeland2022
Flevoland1010

Traffic death toll up by half in Noord-Brabant

In 2018, the number of traffic deaths rose sharply in Noord-Brabant: 150, against 98 in 2017. In Zuid-Holland, the province with the highest traffic death toll after Noord-Brabant, 100 people were killed on the road. The lowest number of fatalities was recorded in Flevoland, Zeeland and the northern provinces. Noord-Brabant has the most extensive road network of all provinces (nearly 23 thousand km), followed by Gelderland and Zuid-Holland.

Traffic deaths among car occupants, 2018 (per bn vehicle kilometres)
NederlandPassenger car occupants killed in traffic
Netherlands1.7
Drenthe2.9
Noord-Brabant2.7
Groningen2.2
Limburg2.2
Gelderland2.1
Zeeland1.9
Overijssel1.8
Friesland1.3
Noord-Holland1.3
Flevoland1.2
Utrecht0.8
Zuid-Holland0.8

Highest death toll per vehicle km in Drenthe

In 2018, Noord-Brabant and Gelderland saw the highest proportion of passenger car occupants killed in traffic, namely over 40 percent. The number almost doubled in Noord-Brabant: from 31 in 2017 to 58 in 2018. The lowest number was recorded in Flevoland and Zeeland. The picture changes when taking into account the distances covered in each province. Drenthe and Noord-Brabant have relatively the highest shares of deaths among passenger car occupants per vehicle kilometre, while Zuid-Holland and Utrecht have the lowest shares.