Death toll higher amongst cyclists than motorists in the Netherlands

Death toll higher amongst cyclists than motorists in the Netherlands

Cycling in the Netherlands can be fun, but in 2017, for the first time ever, more cyclists were involved in fatal accidents than motorists. According to Statistics Netherlands (CBS), 613 people were killed in traffic accidents in 2017, 206 of these were cyclists, whilst 201 were motorists in passenger cars.

Dutch e-bike deaths

In 2017, there were 16 fewer traffic accident related deaths than in 2016. However, the number of cyclists suffering fatal injuries was at its highest in ten years time, and more than quarter of these victims met their end on an e-bike.

Of the cyclists who passed away, two-thirds were aged 65 or above and three percent were under 18. Many of these victims were also male, as more men than women were killed in every age category.

In addition to the number of cyclists and motorists who were killed, 58 pedestrians, 51 motorcyclists, 41 moped drivers and 25 people using mobility scooters also died in fatal traffic accidents.

Dutch province with the most cyclist deaths

In the province of North Brabant, 35 cyclists suffered fatal injuries in traffic accidents in 2017. This is the highest number of cyclist deaths of all the Dutch provinces. Gelderland is not far behind, with 33 cyclists perishing last year.

The provinces with the fewest cyclist deaths were Flevoland and Drenthe and those with the fewest cyclist deaths per cycled kilometres were Drenthe and Groningen. The number of cyclist deaths per cycled kilometres was the highest in Zeeland and Overijssel.

Speed differences on the cycle path

With more people on the cycle path and the introduction of e-bikes, the differences in the speeds of users are great. This brings along consequences. What’s more, the elderly tend to have balance issues with e-bikes and falls can be fatal.

The Minister of Infrastructure and Water Management, Cora van Nieuwenhuizen, is concerned about elderly cyclists, as accidents tend to have greater consequences for this group than for younger cyclists. This group needs extra attention, she feels. Dutch Traffic Safety Association (VVN) feels that more attention should be given to improving cycling infrastructure, especially in large Dutch cities.

Mina Solanki


Mina Solanki

Completed her Master's degree at the University of Groningen and worked as a translator before joining IamExpat. She loves to read and has a particular interest in Greek mythology. In...

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richard_artes 11:14 | 3 May 2018

I think men take more risks when driving/cycling. Every day I see drivers skipping red lights, driving around each other to be first, speeding. And there are no police on the roads any more, so driving gets worse, faster and more risks. And since cyslists are more vulnerable, they are the ones who get hurt, not the drivers.

deastman 18:00 | 4 May 2018

not once are helmets mentioned.... it would seem the writer of this article has a true talent for ignorance... retired nurse

viljoed1 12:56 | 6 November 2018

I think the "brommers" are a menace on cycle paths. They obviously bypass the governors on these machines and race at ridiculous speeds on cycle paths. Whilst in my car driving at 50kmh i noticed a brommer on the cycle path going faster than I was going on the road. E-bikes are not far behind and can easily reach speeds in excess of 30km/h on the cycle paths.