How is the number of road deaths in the Netherlands determined?


Before 1996, all road death statistics in the Netherlands were based on police reports. Since 1996, the number of road deaths has been determined by Statistics Netherlands, in close consultation with the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management (IenW). Statistics Netherlands analyses data from three different data sources to determine the number of road deaths in the Netherlands:

  1. Data from the cause of death forms filled out by a coroner;
  2. The district court files on deaths by unnatural causes;
  3. The (provisional) Database of Registered Crashes in the Netherlands (in Dutch: BRON), based on police crash reports. The final version of this database is published by the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management (IenW).

By linking and comparing these data sources, Statistics Netherlands compiles the total number of road deaths in the Road Death Statistics. This can be seen in Figure 1.

Figure 1. The number of road deaths is determined using three sources. A road death can be included in one or more of these sources.

Statistics Netherlands departs from the premise that all road deaths are registered in at least one of the three data sources and, consequently, that there are no traffic deaths that are not registered in any of the data sources. This implies that the area outside the three coloured circles in Figure 1 contains no road deaths. Based on analysis of the data, Statistics Netherlands determines the number of road deaths. Double counts are removed, and casualties that should not be included in the road deaths in the Netherlands (such as crashes abroad, crashes off public roads, suicides, natural causes of death) are removed from the database.

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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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