A12 near Gouda most dangerous section of Dutch motorway

Wednesday 22 February 2017
The northern carriageway of the A12 near Gouda was the most dangerous section of motorway in the Netherlands, in 2016. Between hectometre markers 27.0 and 28.9 on the A12 Left, a total of 97 accidents were reported to the National Central Reporting Point (LCM) of the Stichting IMN, during the course of the year. With these figures, this section of road occupies first and fourth positions in the top 10 of most dangerous road sections in the country. The local IM recovery operator is BCU Bodegraven. The list of most dangerous road sections was also headed by the same stretch of motorway, in 2012.

Ongeval op de A12 Li 27,6 op 31 januari 2016

Accident on the A12 Left 27.6 on 31 January 2016 (photograph: Lars van der Toorn, 112HM)

The road section in question runs from the Gouda slip road to the point where the A12 divides into the A20 to Rotterdam and the A12 to The Hague. One major cause of accidents is that traffic travelling from Gouda to The Hague that joins the motorway at the Gouda slip road is required to cross the lanes of the A20, in order to reach the A12. The crossing is not always successful. Since the summer of 2016, traffic for The Hague travelling from Gouda can avoid the slip road before the aqueduct. Instead, a new slip road has been opened beyond the aqueduct. This slip road can be reached via a parallel carriageway built specifically for that purpose, that runs alongside the A12. To date, however, this route remains little used.

Most dangerous 1 km road sections in 2016

Ranking 2016 Ranking 2015 Road Carriageway Hectometre Accidents
1(4)A12Li27,0 - 27,956
2(12)A20Re30,0 - 30,945
3(56)A8Re1,0 - 1,942
4(8)A12Li28,0 - 28,941
5(17)A10Li30,0 - 30,940
6(10)A16Li21,0 - 21,939
7(12)A9Re32,0 - 32,938
8(101)A10Re11,0 - 11,937
9(90)A59Re102,0 - 102,935
10(142)A4Li44,0 - 44,935

Another common cause of accidents is that traffic on the Rotterdam lanes is often stationary during the evening rush hour period, while traffic to The Hague is able to travel at full speed. Drivers heading for Rotterdam who attempt to join the traffic queue at the last moment can surprise vehicles travelling behind them, sometimes with very serious consequences.

Accident on the 12 Left 28.0 on 18 August 2016 (photograph: Lars van der Toorn, 112HM)

Accident on the 12 Left 28.0 on 18 August 2016 (photograph: Lars van der Toorn, 112HM)

On 5 kilometre-long road sections, the list of most dangerous roads was headed by the A10 at Watergraafsmeer. On the northern carriageway (A10 Right 10.0 - 14.9), the LCM handled 125 accident reports, in the last year. This stretch of road, on either side of the junction with the A2 motorway, was also the most dangerous 5-kilometre section in the Netherlands, in 2013, 2014 and 2015. The A12 in Gouda finished in second place, in the 5-kilometre list.

Most dangerous 5 km road sections in 2016

Ranking 2016 Ranking 2015 Road Carriageway Hectometre Accidents
1(1)A10Re10,0 - 14,9125
2(6)A12Li25,0 - 29,9117
3(8)A16Li15,0 - 19,9110
4(4)A16Li20,0 - 24,995
5(3)A20Li30,0 - 34,988
6(7)A2Li110,0 - 114,987
7(10)A16Re20,0 - 24,986
8(38)A4Li40,0 - 44,985
9(11)A20Re30,0 - 34,984
10(12)A4Re30,0 - 34,983

There was some good news on the accident front. In the outside bend of the de Stok junction (A58 Right 94.0 - 94.9), road safely improved spectacularly, in 2016. Whereas in 2015 this kilometre long section was the most dangerous in the Netherlands, in 2016, the LCM did not record a single accident at this location. At the start of 2016, special asphalt was applied on this stretch of road, to increase the level of grip in the bend.

Accident on the A12 Left 28.2 on 1 July 2016 (photograph: Lars van der Toorn, 112HM)

Accident on the A12 Left 28.2 on 1 July 2016 (photograph: Lars van der Toorn, 112HM)

The opening of the A4 motorway Midden Delfland also had a favourable effect on road safety. This direct link between The Hague and the Benelux Tunnel led to a huge fall in congestion levels on the traditional route via the A13 and A20. Accident numbers on the A4 increased, but this rise was easily compensated for by a halving of the number of road traffic accidents on the A13 and a substantial fall in the number of accidents on the A20.

Number of accidents per section in 2015 and 2016

Road Section Hectometre 2016 2015 Trend
A4Ypenburg - Beneluxplein50,0 - 76,927017356%
A13Ypenburg - Kleinpolderplein3,0 - 19,9116238(51%)
A20Kethelplein - Terbregseplein24,0 - 35,9324415(22%)

The rankings appearing in this report are based on absolute numbers of accidents per road section. No relationship is made between the number of accidents and traffic intensity on the section of road in question. Accidents reported directly to emergency services, emergency call centres or the Central Reporting Point for Trucks and not reported to Stichting IMN are not included in the figures. Road sections consisting of multiple lanes, for example at junctions and roads with parallel carriageways, are processed in the overview as if consisting of a single carriageway. As a consequence, figures for the locations in question are not directly comparable with the numbers at locations with just a single carriageway.

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