What type of road crash costs do we distinguish?


The road crash costs can be subdivided into six cost items [4] [7] [8]; see Figure 5. Three quarters of the total costs are human costs. The second largest cost item are property damage costs (14%); other cost items are relatively minor ones.


Figure 5. Estimate of the cost item shares of the total road crash costs in 2020 [1].

Medical costs

Medical costs are the result of the medical treatment of casualties, for example hospital, rehabilitation and medicine costs. In the Netherlands, costs for people who come to visit in hospital and (early) funeral costs are also included in the medical costs.

Production loss

Loss of production consists of costs of the casualties’ temporary or permanent inability to work and the entire production loss of road deaths. Some countries also include loss of unpaid production, such as housekeeping and voluntary work, costs for employers to recruit and train replacement staff, and cost of vocational rehabilitation. However, these costs are not included in the Netherlands.

Human costs

Human costs for casualties and their relatives and friends are costs in the form of suffering, pain, sorrow and loss of quality of life and enjoyment of life. Human costs are related to road deaths as well as to serious and slightly injured casualties. Also see the question  How do we define the human costs of road crashes?

Property damage costs

Property damage includes damage to vehicles, cargo, roads and roadside furniture, and to personal possessions. Vehicle damage is always by far the largest cost item in this category [9] and in the Netherlands these are the only costs included in the calculation (passenger cars, delivery vehicles, trucks and motorcycles).

Settlement costs

Settlement costs relate to deployment of police and fire brigade in the event of crashes, administrative costs of insurers and legal costs. Legal costs include costs of detection, prosecution, trial and punishment of those who cause a crash, and costs for legal aid.

Other costs

In the Netherlands, other costs only include costs of congestion on account of crashes. In some other countries, other costs also include the cost of vehicle unavailability, such as the cost of replacement transport. 

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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