How does the number of road deaths in the Netherlands relate to the numbers in other countries?


Compared to the official numbers of road deaths reported by other European countries, the actual number of road deaths in the Netherlands in 2020 ranked 11th in Europe [11]. Correction was made for the size of each country, not by comparing the number of casualties, but by comparing traffic mortality (road deaths per inhabitant). In relation to road safety improvement measured in terms of the decrease in the number of road deaths per country in 2020 as contrasted to 2010, the Netherlands ranks 32nd with a decrease of merely 5%. In comparison, the best-performing countries, such as Greece and Norway, realised a 50% reduction in road deaths. It should be noted that the social distancing measures in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic are expected to have contributed to the reduction of road casualties in 2020; there are indications that this contribution may have differed from country to country [12] [13].

In its database CARE, the EU collects information from road crash registrations of the 27 Member States and those of some other countries such as Norway and Switzerland. CARE does not apply a correction for underregistration of road deaths in road crash registrations (BRON in the Netherlands). On the basis of the traffic mortality based on CARE, using provisional data from 2021 [14] the Netherlands ranks fifth within the EU in 2020, and ninth when other European countries, such as Liechtenstein, Norway, Switzerland and Iceland, are included in the comparison [14]. These comparisons yield a distorted picture, because no account was taken of the 13% of road deaths that were not included in BRON, but were determined by Statistics Netherlands. In 2018, ETSC has examined whether other countries also use more than one source for determining the number of road deaths [15]. About half the countries surveyed (17 out of 32) incorporate hospital data, causes of deaths forms or data about deaths by unnatural causes. At this time, the exhaustiveness of road crash registration in the different countries is unknown.

SWOV fact sheet Dutch road safety in an international perspective compares Dutch road safety performance to that of other countries in a broader sense.

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Road deaths in the Netherlands

In 2021, there were 582 road deaths in the Netherlands. Although this number is again lower than in previous years, it is not the lowest number up Meer

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