Tunnel Vision

Monday 14 February 2022
The Coentunnel once again tops the list of most dangerous sections of road in the Netherlands. The northern portal of the tunnel formed the backdrop for 63 accidents in 2021. This is as many as in 2019, when this bit of road also led the list. The only difference was that this year the distance to number two was much greater. In 2019, the A1/A30 interchange at Barneveld was in second place with 57 accidents. This time around, that dubious honour went to the A12 at the Gouwe aqueduct, on the carriageway heading towards The Hague. There were accidents on 44 occasions on the last kilometre before the exit to the A20 towards Rotterdam.

Most dangerous 1 km sections of road in 20211

Rank 2021 Rank 2020 Road Carriageway Hectometre Accidents
1(7)A10Li30,0 - 30,963
2(37)A12Li27,0 - 27,944
3(4)A20Re30,0 - 30,937
4(11)A20Re29,0 - 29,936
5(16)A4Re33,0 - 33,935
6(1)A7Li4,0 - 4,935
7(5)A4Re50,0 - 50,933
8(101)A4Li73,0 - 73,931
9(54)A16Li17,0 - 17,931
10(60)A15Li48,0 - 48,930

The abrupt jump from daylight to the darkness of a tunnel is a familiar hazard in traffic. That is underlined by the fact that all registered accidents in the Coentunnel happened in the hours of daylight. The same applies to the 31 incidents at the southern portal of the Beneluxtunnel, number 8 on the list. What is striking about that is that three quarters of the collisions in the Coentunnel occurred between the hours of 1 p.m and 5 p.m. This is the part of the day at which the sun shines directly into the eyes of approaching motorists and the difference between light and dark is most acute.

Accident at the northern portal of the Beneluxtunnel

Accident at the northern portal of the Beneluxtunnel (A4 Right 72.0 - 72.9) on 21 July 2020

When the motorways are divided into sections of five kilometres, both carriageways of the A20 in Rotterdam emerge as the most dangerous section of road in the country. This stretch of road has been in need of an upgrade for years: it is winding, and has narrow hard shoulders and a profusion of slip roads joining and leaving the motorway. However, its location within the built-up area makes reconstruction impossible. Instead, a whole new motorway to the north of Rotterdam is under construction. The A16 is being extended there at the moment, from its current terminus at Terbregseplein, to an interchange with the A13 at Rotterdam Airport. This link is scheduled to open in 2025.

Gevaarlijkste 5km wegvakken in 2021

Rank 2021 Rank 2020 Road Carriageway Hectometre Accidents
1(2)A20Re30,0 - 34,9101
2(7)A16Re20,0 - 24,997
3(3)A16Li15,0 - 19,995
4(11)A4Li70,0 - 74,994
5(5)A20Li30,0 - 34,987
6(1)A16Li20,0 - 24,982
7(10)A10Re10,0 - 14,979
8(43)A10Li30,0 - 34,978
9(14)A20Re25,0 - 29,976
10(33)A12Li25,0 - 29,974

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