Road accidents 

The road claimed 7 % more lives in 2019

Mobility
The road claimed 7 % more lives in 2019

Road traffic accidents and casualties 2019

There were 37,699 road traffic accidents in 2019, bringing the total of casualties to 47,793, including 43,547 slightly injured, 3,600 seriously injured and 646 persons who died within 30 days of the accident. This is what emerged from the latest figures on road traffic accidents published by Statbel, the Belgian statistical office.

Compared to 2018, this is a decrease in the number of accidents (-2.0 %), of slightly injured (-3.5 %) and of seriously injured (-1.0 %).

The number of persons who died within 30 days of the accident has, however, increased by 7 %. This increase is entirely due to the increase in the number of persons who died on the spot from 437 in 2018 to 483 in 2019 (+10.5 %).

Belgium 2018* 2019 2018/2019
Number of accidents 38,453 37,699 -2.0%
Number of casualties 49,357 47,793 -3.2%
Number of deaths 30 days 604 646 +7.0%
   including persons who died on the spot 437 483 +10.5%
Number of serious casualties 3,637 3,600 -1.0%
Number of light casualties 45,116 43,547 -3.5%
* Revised values

Number of accidents and casualties per region and per province

The tables below show the evolution of the number of accidents and casualties per region.

The number of accidents decreases in Flanders (-2.7 %) and in Wallonia (-1.9 %) but increases in Brussels (+2.4 %).

In terms of casualties, Flanders and Wallonia register a decrease of 3.8 % and 3.2 % respectively. However, there is an increase of 1.4 % in the Brussels-Capital Region.

The number of persons who died within 30 days of the accident has decreased by 4.8 % in the Brussels-Capital Region. In the Flemish Region, this indicator has increased by 1.6 %, from 310 persons who died within 30 days in 2018 to 315 in 2019. In Wallonia, 311 persons died within 30 days in 2019 compared to 273 in 2018, i.e. an increase of 13.9 %.

As regards the seriously injured, we observe a 2.1 % decrease in Flanders but a 0.6 % and 1.7 % increase in the Brussels Region and in Wallonia. As regards the slightly injured, Flanders and Wallonia have registered a decrease of 4.1 % and 3.9 % respectively, while this figure increases in Brussels (+1.5 %).

Brussels-Capital Region 2018* 2019 2018/2019
Number of accidents 3,833 3,924 +2.4%
Number of casualties 4,531 4,595 +1.4%
Number of deaths 30 days 21 20 -4.8%
   including persons who died on the spot 15 19 +26.7%
Number of serious casualties 176 177 +0.6%
Number of light casualties 4,334 4,398 +1.5%
* Revised values
Flemish Region 2018* 2019 2018/2019
Number of accidents 23,711 23,068 -2.7%
Number of casualties 30,209 29,047 -3.8%
Number of deaths 30 days 310 315 +1.6%
   including persons who died on the spot 211 220 +4.3%
Number of serious casualties 2,527 2,473 -2.1%
Number of light casualties 27,372 26,259 -4.1%
* Revised values
Walloon Region 2018* 2019 2018/2019
Number of accidents 10,909 10,707 -1.9%
Number of casualties 14,617 14,151 -3.2%
Number of deaths 30 days 273 311 +13.9%
   including persons who died on the spot 211 244 +15.6%
Number of serious casualties 934 950 +1.7%
Number of light casualties 13,410 12,890 -3.9%
* Revised values

In 2019, the provinces with the largest number of persons who died within 30 days were Hainaut (115), Antwerp (78), Liège (77) and East Flanders (70). On the other hand, the provinces of Walloon Brabant (20), Luxembourg (49) and Namur (50) have the lowest numbers of persons who died within 30 days.

Graf_acc_2019_1_en

One fatality out of five is aged between 20 and 29

In 2019, one fatality out of five was a young person aged 20 to 29. The number of persons who died within 30 days in this age group has increased by 17.9 % in one year. The two other most affected age groups are also on the rise: there were 95 persons who died within 30 days among the people aged 50 to 59 (+11.8 %) and 84 among those aged 40 to 49 (+13.5 %).

Graf_acc_2019_2_en

At the same time, the number of deaths among the youngest continues to decline.

  2005 2010 2015 2018 2019 2019/2005 2019/2018
from 0 to 9 years old 25 20 12 8 3 -88.0% -62.5%
from 10 to 19 years old 101 64 43 26 39 -61.4% +50.0%
from 20 to 29 years old 264 225 159 106 125 -52.7% +17.9%
from 30 to 39 years old 197 151 107 90 81 -58.9% -10.0%
from 40 to 49 years old 169 106 92 74 84 -50.3% +13.5%
from 50 to 59 years old 116 92 106 85 95 -18.1% +11.8%
from 60 to 69 years old 87 65 86 76 76 -12.6% +0.0%
from 70 to 79 years old 90 71 70 64 61 -32.2% -4.7%
80 and over 58 50 80 66 70 +20.7% +6.1%
age not known 24 6 7 9 12 -50.0% +33.3%

Who are the victims of road traffic accidents?

In 2019, the majority of persons who died within 30 days were drivers (309), followed by cyclists (95), pedestrians (92) and motorcyclists (84). The sum of these 4 categories gives a total of 90 % of the persons who died within 30 days.

Graf_acc_2019_3_en

Compared to 2018, cars register a 12.4 % increase in the number of victims who died within 30 days (from 275 in 2018 to 309 in 2019).

The number fatalities within 30 days shows an even greater increase among pedestrians (+24.3 %), from 74 fatalities within 30 days in 2018 to 92 in 2019.

For bicycles, the total is 95 in 2019 against 89 in 2018, an increase of 6.7 %.

Finally, there were 3.4 % less motorcyclists (motorcycle > 400 cc and < 400 cc) who died within 30 days.

  2005 2010 2015 2018 2019 2019/2005 2019/2018
Car (1) 627 451 376 275 309 -50.7% +12.4%
Van 43 39 37 30 17 -60.5% -43.3%
Heavy goods vehicle (2) 17 14 16 19 11 -35.3% -42.1%
Motorcycle (3) 124 103 105 87 84 -32.3% -3.4%
Moped (4) 33 23 20 18 19 -42.4% +5.6%
Pedestrian (5) 109 108 94 74 92 -15.6% +24.3%
Bicycle (6) 76 73 90 89 95 +25.0% +6.7%
Others (7) 9 6 14 10 10 +11.1% +0.0%
Unknown 93 33 9 2 9 -90.3% +350.0%
Total 1,131 850 762 604 646 -42.9% +7.0%
1 passenger car; twin-purpose car; minibus; camping vehicle
2 truck, tractor + semi-trailer; tractor alone
3 less than 400 cc and more than 400 cc
4 A, B, with 3 or 4 wheels
5 Other pedestrian, person in a wheelchair, pedestrian with a two-wheeled vehicle
6 regular and electric bicycle
7 Agricultural tractor, bus, coach, rider, other user, carriage

Purpose and short description

Statbel has been compiling statistics on road accidents since 1 July 1926. These statistics are based on a form that must be completed by the police services in the event of any accident on the road claiming casualties. Over time, this form has been adapted several times according to the evolution of society and road phenomena.

Survey population

Road traffic accidents with personal injury in Belgium which resulted in a police report.

Data collection method and sample size

Administrative data : on-site police records and investigation by prosecutors.

Périodicité

Annuel

Release calendar

Availability of results: 6 months after the reference period.

Definitions

Accident: an accident between two or more road users is considered as one accident. Only accidents on public roads and claiming casualties are included in these statistics. Are therefore excluded: collisions and accidents on private property or at sports events. Accidents with material damage only are no longer included since 1973.

Death 30 days: any person who died on the scene or within 30 days after the accident.

Serious casualty: any person injured in a road accident whose condition requires hospitalisation of more than 24 hours.

Light casualty: any person injured in a road accident who is not classified under fatal or serious casualty.

Car: passenger cars; twin-purpose cars; minibuses; camping vehicles.

Van: van

Truck: truck, tractor + semi-trailers; tractor alone.

Bus: bus; coach.

Moped: moped A (two wheels), moped B (two wheels), moped with 3 or 4 wheels.

Motorcycle: motorcycle not exceeding 400 cc, motorcycle exceeding 400 cc.

Bicyle: bicycle

Pedestrian:disabled person in a wheelchair; pedestrian with a two-wheeled vehicle; other pedestrian.

Other: agricultural tractor; trolleybus; rider; carriage; other user; unknown, unavailable.

Remarks

Quality of the figures: Death data are the most reliable and stable data. Indeed, it is more than likely that a fatal accident will be the subject of police or prosecutorial intervention. Data on light casualties are most likely underestimated, especially for vulnerable road users (pedestrians and cyclists). Belgian and international studies estimate the police registration rate at 90% for fatal accidents (data from prosecutors, however, allow us to improve these results). It is around 50% for casualties requiring hospitalisation and less than 20% for very light casualties (not requiring hospitalisation).

Data from 2005 to 2017 have been revised by police services. Statbel updated its road accident data in June 2018. There is a large number of unknown data for some important variables (municipality, road conditions, and weather conditions, among others) between 2005 and 2017. It is less a problem for the most recent years. The most recent release always prevails.