In 2022, there were 745 road deaths in the Netherlands, 163 more than in 2021. This implies that the number of road deaths reverted to pre-2009 levels.

The construction of the road network and road design greatly affect road safety: firstly, because they make certain conflicts impossible or unlikely (e.g., by physical separation of driving directions, separate bicycle tracks, clear roadsides); secondly, because they direct the desired traffic behaviour (recognisability, predictability).

In the Netherlands, over a third of road deaths and well over two thirds of serious road injuries are cyclists. Cyclist fatality risk (the number of road deaths per distance travelled) is more than eight times higher than fatality risk for drivers, but over three times as low as that for motorised two-wheelers.

Every year, about 140 fatal 'run-off-road crashes' involving motor vehicles (excluding two-wheelers) are registered in the Netherlands: they result in around 160 road deaths, more than a quarter of the total number of road deaths.

 

The social costs of road crashes in the Netherlands in 2020 are estimated at € 27 billion (between € 15 and € 36 billion). This is significantly higher than other traffic-related social costs such as traffic congestion (€ 3.5 to € 4.6 billion) and environmental damage (€ 7.3 billion).

In 2021, the number of serious road injuries in the Netherlands was estimated at 6,800. This is similar to the number in 2020, but lower than was to be expected considering the upward trend up to and including 2019.

Wrong-way driving crashes are infrequent, but their outcome is often serious. Most wrong-way driving crashes occur when drivers inadvertently enter a motorway exit or when drivers turn around on a motorway.

About one third of the road deaths on Dutch roads occur at intersections. Within the urban area, this amounts to half and outside the urban area to slightly less than a quarter of the road deaths. A roundabout is the safest kind of intersection, because there are fewer conflict zones, because speed is lower, and impact angles are smaller than at a conventional intersection.

In 2020, over a quarter of the total number of bicycle kilometres were cycled on pedelecs; particularly the over-65s opt for pedelecs. This is also borne out by the crash figures: in 2019 and 2020, almost one in three of the cyclist fatalities was a pedelec rider.

Traffic congestion occurs when traffic demand exceeds road capacity, or when an incident such as a traffic crash, a vehicle breakdown occurs or temporary roadworks take place, all of which temporarily reduce capacity and restrict traffic flow. Congestion crashes mainly occur at the tail end of a traffic jam. There, the speed of the traffic flow decreases sharply, which coincides with frequent and hard braking, and with a high risk of rear-end crashes.