Amsterdam is Netherlands' most dangerous city for cyclists, pedestrians

Amsterdam is the Dutch capital of road accidents involving pedestrians and cyclists, according to a recent report by the Dutch Institute for Road Safety Research (SWOV).

Accidents in Amsterdam often car-free

The data in this study show that the number of serious injuries, from road accidents not involving motor vehicles, doubled between 2000 and 2011 in Amsterdam. This increase was more significant than in the other major Dutch cities.

Proportion of victims who are cyclists

Between 2000 and 2013, there were 274 road fatality victims in Amsterdam, of which cyclists made up 28 per cent, whereas cyclists only accounted for 21 per cent of victims in The HagueUtrecht and Rotterdam.

Not far behind, pedestrian deaths in Amsterdam accounted for 27 per cent of the total, compared to 22 per cent in the three other cities.

Fewer car victims in Amsterdam

Interestingly, there was a higher rate of car driver and passenger deaths outside Amsterdam: 34 per cent in the three other major cities and 46 per cent in the rest of the Netherlands, compared with only 22 per cent in Amsterdam.

The victims of fatal road accidents in Amsterdam tend to be aged between 25 and 35, and over 75. The accidents often occur at intersections and in areas with a speed limit of 50 km per hour.

Researchers attribute the massive increase in crashes involving non-motorized vehicles to a 50 per cent increase in the number of cyclists on Amsterdam streets between 2000 and 2011, and an 80 per cent increase in the number of powered two-wheelers.

Along with pedestrians and cyclists, groups more likely to be injured on the road in Amsterdam than in any other Dutch city include motorcyclists and riders on light mopeds. 

Hope for safer city streets

The good news is that the overall number of road fatalities in Amsterdam is declining by a rate of 6 per cent annually, faster than in the other three major cities, and in step with the rest of the country.

The authors of this study hope that their findings will aid municipal efforts to reduce the risk of serious road accidents.

For more information, have a look at the study here (in Dutch).

Emily McCallum


Emily McCallum

Emily grew up in a small coastal town in western Canada and moved to Utrecht in 2014, after completing her studies in Vancouver and Germany. So far, she has been...

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