How do the costs compare to previous estimates?


The estimate of social road crash costs in 2020, € 27 billion, is considerably higher than previous estimates: € 17 billion in 2018 [3] and € 12.5 billion in 2009 [4]. The main reason for the higher estimate for 2020 is that we used new values for human costs of road deaths and serious injuries as found in the international VALOR research (see the question How do we define the human costs of road crashes?). For the Netherlands, the new values are more than twice as high as previous estimates. This greatly affects the total costs, because human costs constitute a large share of them, and now, with the new values, even more so. In addition, several new data sources were used, for example for vehicle damage and congestion costs, and the real costs (disregarding inflation) increased. The real cost increases concern general increases in, for example, the costs of vehicle repair and insurance. All these factors result in a cost increase of more than € 10 billion compared to the estimated 2018 costs. Inflation results in a relatively minor cost increase: an increase of € 1,3 billion between 2018 and 2020. In contrast with the factors that increase the total costs, the 2020 number of casualties is lower than it was in 2018, which results in a decrease in total costs of € 2 billion (see Figure 2).

The same factors explain the difference with the 2009 estimate. The impact of the new human cost values is greater, because the 2009 estimate did not include the human costs of slight injuries (which the 2018 estimate did). The impact of inflation is stronger, but the cost effect of a decrease in casualties is smaller. For, the 2020 number of serious injuries exceeds the 2009 number, while the number of road deaths and slight injuries did decrease.


Figure 2. Explanation for the difference of the cost estimate in 2020 (represented as the base line) compared to previous estimates for 2009 and 2018 [1].

Part of fact sheet

Road crash costs

The social costs of road crashes in the Netherlands in 2020 are estimated at € 27 billion (between € 15 and € 36 billion). This is significantly Meer

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