Fewer road traffic deaths in 2021
Last year, road traffic accidents led to 582 fatalities. This is 28 fewer or 4.6 percent less than in the previous year. There were mainly fewer fatalities among men. In 2021, altogether 427 men were killed in traffic, i.e. 26 fewer than in 2020. Among women, there were 155 traffic deaths, against 157 in 2020.
Despite population growth, the number of fatalities has halved relative to 2000. In that year, the total traffic death toll amounted to 1,166; this was followed by a gradual decline until 2013. The death toll subsequently increased, to 678 in 2018.
Fewer fatalities in cars and on bicycles
The majority of road traffic deaths were cyclists (207) and car occupants (175). Eighty of the cyclist deaths were e-bikers. Car occupant deaths included 137 drivers and 38 passengers. In addition, 52 motorcyclists, 49 moped riders, 43 pedestrians and 32 mobility scooter riders were killed.
Compared to 2020, 22 fewer cyclists were killed in traffic. The number of fatalities among car occupants in 2021 was down by 20. On the other hand, there were more fatalities among motorcyclists (+8) and moped riders (+16).
Lowest number of car occupant deaths in two decades
Traffic mortality among passenger car occupants has followed a trend that is distinctly different from cyclists. Between 2000 and 2021, the number of car crash deaths declined from 543 in 2000 to 175 in 2021, the lowest number in a span of two decades. The death toll among cyclists has remained fairly stable since 2000. In 2021, over a third of all road traffic deaths were cyclists. The highest number of cyclist deaths was seen in 2000 (233) and the lowest in 2010 (162). Since 2020, cyclist deaths have exceeded car occupant deaths by nearly 20 percent.
Half of all road fatalities involve people aged 60 and over
Half of all traffic deaths last year were people aged 60 or older. Traffic accident mortality in this age group did show a decrease, from 306 in 2020 to 294 in 2021. Senior traffic victims (ages 60 and over) are relatively more often involved in a cycling accident, while younger victims (under 60) are more likely to be killed in a car crash.
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Mainly fatal collisions
Most fatal accidents (326, representing 56 percent) resulted from collision with a moving vehicle. The remaining 256 (44 percent) occurred unilaterally while 26 percent of victims died as a result of a fatal road accident without collision: they fell of their bicycle, swerved and crashed on their motorcycle, or were in a vehicle overturn. Eighteen percent died after colliding with a tree, a pole or other type of fixed object.
Most fatalities in Gelderland and Zuid-Holland
In 2021, the highest traffic death toll was recorded in Gelderland and Zuid-Holland with 94 deaths each. Road traffic mortality was up In both provinces last year. For the first time in seven years, Noord-Brabant was not the province with the highest death toll.
Other provinces with a decline included Overijssel, Zeeland, Noord-Brabant and Limburg. In Zeeland, traffic mortality was halved: from 22 in 2020 to 11 in 2021. Zeeland had the lowest traffic death toll among the provinces last year. The number of traffic deaths in Noord-Holland remained unchanged from 2020.
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