Turbulent Eastern

Friday 26 April 2019
The Easter holidays were accompanied by an unprecedented level of incidents on the Dutch trunk road network. Maundy Thursday and Good Friday both featured in the top ten of days with the highest number of IM reports since 2014. On 18 April, the LCM dealt with 542 incident reports. Just one day later, the total rose to 652, more than twice as many as the multiyear average. The busiest period on both days was at the end of the afternoon.

Accident on the A59 motorway at Waspik, on 18 April 2019 (photograph: Marcel van Dorst)

Accident on the A59 motorway at Waspik, on 18 April 2019 (photograph: Marcel van Dorst)

The Easter upsurge took place on days hallmarked by pleasant spring weather. The top ten of busiest days since 2014 reveals that this is in fact uncommon. Normally speaking, for recovery operators, days of extreme activity are usually due to extreme weather: snow, rain downpours, hard frost and excessive heat. Most accidents occur when roads are slippery or wet. Very cold or very hot weather lead to large numbers of breakdown removals because in these weather conditions the aim of Rijkswaterstaat is to ensure that as many broken-down vehicles are removed from the motorways as possible.

Days with most IM reports since 2014

ranking date number main cause
207-01-2017707slippery road
611-12-2017561slippery road

Two of the hottest days this century, 26 and 27 July 2018, occupy place one and five in the top ten of days with the highest number of incident reports on IM roads since 2014. On 7 January 2017, number two despite being a Saturday, saw long periods of sleet. And 28 February and 1 March 2018, days occupying the third and tenth place respectively, saw sudden hard frosts during an otherwise mild winter.

Days with most accidents on IM roads since 2014

ranking date number main cause
107-01-2017366slippery road
210-12-2017193slippery road
411-12-2017173slippery road
524-01-2015172slippery road

If we only consider the number of actual accidents, the already mentioned 7 January 2017 is frontrunner. Number two was 10 December 2017, a day that saw heavy snowfall. Third place was awarded to 30 October 2018, when the entire country experienced heavy rainfall. And on 18 and 19 April 2019, large numbers of accidents were reported, but not enough for a position in the top ten. On 18 April, the LCM processed 110 accident reports followed one day later by 133. The multiyear average is 70 accidents per day.

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