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A light electric vehicle (LEV) is a light, electrically powered vehicle to travel relatively short distances. Most electric vehicles cannot be used on public roads in the Netherlands, whereas in many other European countries this is permitted. Not much is known about the safety of LEVs since large-scale, systematic research is hardly available.
Published: (SWOV) | Goldenbeld, Ch.; Stelling, A.; Kint, S.T. van der
Published: (SWOV) | Hettema, Z.J.A.; Dijkstra, A.; Schermers, G.
Published: (SWOV) | Bax, C.A.; Uijtdewilligen, T.; Kint, S.T. van der

Sustainable Road Safety implies that the traffic environment is designed to rule out serious crashes and to mitigate the severity of the crashes that do happen. The human dimension is the primary focus: man who is vulnerable, makes mistakes and does not abide by the rules.

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 till now, in spite of it being a ‘COVID-19 year' once more.

The social costs of road crashes in the Netherlands in 2018 are estimated at 17 billion euro (between € 15.8 and € 18.6 billion euro), equivalent to more than 2% of the gross domestic product (GDP).

This fact sheet considers road safety in the Netherlands from an international perspective. The number of serious road injuries is hard to compare to numbers in other countries, so we almost exclusively focus on the number of road deaths. For the Netherlands, we use the actual number of road deaths provided by Statistics Netherlands; i.e. the numbers adjusted for underregistration.

The construction of the road network and the road design have a large effect on road safety: firstly, because these make certain conflicts impossible or unlikely (e.g. physical separation of driving direction, separate cycle lanes, obstacle-free verges); secondly, because these direct the desired traffic behaviour (recognizability, predictability).

In the past ten years (2006-2015) an average of 11 road deaths per year in the Netherlands was registered in crashes involving agricultural vehicles. Compared to the early 1990s, the average number of road deaths due to crashes involving an agricultural vehicle increased from 1% to 2% of the total number of road deaths in the Netherlands.