What is the risk of a fatal crash in Dutch traffic for different modes of transport?


The fatality risk can be expressed as the number of road deaths per km travelled. In the Netherlands, fatality risk is highest for powered two-wheelers: (light) moped riders and motorcyclists, about thirty times higher than the risk for car occupants (Figure 9). For cyclists and pedestrians, the risk is eight and six times higher than the death risk for car occupants, respectively, over the 2012-2021 period.

The figure shows two-year averages known for 2012-2021 [i], since the annually calculated risks are to some extent coincidental due to uncertainties in exposure data and numbers of crashes. Most strikingly, the fatality risk for car occupants remained more or less the same over that period, but increased for two-wheelers certainly in the more recent years, and decreased for pedestrians.


Figure 9. The fatality risk (number of road deaths per kilometre travelled) in the Netherlands, for various modes of transport, averaged over two-year periods. Sources: Statistics Netherlands (Road Death Statistics), Dutch Travel Survey (OviN)), On the Road in the Netherlands (OdiN)), Rijkswaterstaat (Dutch Mobility Survey (MON), adapted by SWOV.

[i] Because of a change in methodology between 2017 and 2018 and the mobility reduction COVID-19 measures in the years 2020-2021, we use these two-year averages. Once the 2023 road deaths are known, we will add the years 2022 and 2023.

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Road deaths in the Netherlands

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 Meer

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