Number of traffic accidents risen by 27% in four years

Wednesday 11 October 2017
Over the past twelve months, recovery companies of Stichting IMN were called out to 25,963 accidents on main roads; 27% more than four years ago. The rise was recorded in all parts of the country, but highest in the Province of Gelderland. On the A12 above Arnhem and the A73 near Nijmegen, numbers of road accidents rose by 91% and 131%, respectively.

Aantal verkeersongevallen stijgt in 4 jaar met 27%

Road accident on the A15 at Nijmegen on 19 January 2017 (photo: 112Lingewaard))

Stichting IMN has been responsible for dealing with incidents involving passenger cars on motorways and around 3,000 kilometres of provincial and municipal roads, since 1999. For a number of years, the number of accidents on the so-called IM roads fell by between 1 and 2% per year. However, this trend came to an end in 2013, the year in which the number of accidents per year reached its all-time low. In the period between November 2012 and October 2013, the National Central Reporting Point (LCM), the control room for Stichting IMN, received just 20,458 accident reports. In the years since then however, the figures have once again demonstrated steady and almost uninterrupted growth.

Accidents on IM roads per twelve-month period 2013 - 2017

Stichting IMN has no details of its own about the causes of the rising number of accidents, but external sources leave no room for doubt that the increased use of smartphones at the wheel is the most important factor. TNO recently calculated that using a smartphone while driving increases the risk of a hazardous traffic situation by a factor of 23. Other studies have revealed that a large proportion of road users spend shorter or longer periods of time using their smartphone while driving.

The rise in the number of accidents was not evenly spread across the country. Roads which have become far busier over the past few years saw the fastest growth in accident numbers. On the main routes to the east (A1, A12) and the motorways around Arnhem and Nijmegen (A15, A50 and A73) accident numbers actually doubled on certain road sections, in just four years.

Accidents on IM roads per province 2013 - 2017

Province 2017 2013 Growth

There were also instances of falling accident figures. These were above all noted on roads that have been widened over the past few years. The upgrading of the A1 motorway between hectometre markers 5.0 and 20.0 in Amsterdam, led to a fall in the number of accidents by more than 20%. On the A10 orbital around Amsterdam and on the A15 below Rotterdam, extensive road reconstruction work meant that the rise in accident numbers remained negligible. The opening of the A4 Midden-Delfland in fact caused accident numbers on the A13 to be halved. The A4 motorway between Amsterdam and The Hague, however, was a clear exception. This important traffic artery was widened and parallel carriageways were added at two points. Nonetheless, the number of road accidents rose considerably, in particular on the new section near Leiderdorp.

Accidents on specific road sections 2013 - 2017

Oct-Sep Nov-Oct
Road from - to Location 2017 2013 Growth
A7375- 110Nijmegen20388131%
A12120- 150Arnhem33617691%
A150- 70Barneveld22912583%
A50140- 155Nijmegen18811071%
A45- 50A'dam - Den Haag72445659%
A1525- 65Rotterdam4644445%
A100- 35Amsterdam766817(6%)
A12110- 120Ede5770(19%)
A15- 20Weesp201254(21%)
A130- 20Delft143258(45%)

The positive effect of wider roads on road safety is well reflected by the figures for the number of accidents on the A12 motorway in Gelderland. On the Ede section which was widened in recent years (hectometre markers 110.0 - 120.0) the number of accidents fell by 19%. By comparison, the number of accidents on the next adjacent section up to the German border rose over the past four years by a staggering 91%.

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