Road accidents 

615 deaths on Belgian roads in 2017

615 deaths on Belgian roads in 2017

Statbel, the Belgian statistical office, publishes today detailed figures on road accidents in 2017, broken down up to municipality level. Last year, 615 people died as a result of road accidents on Belgian roads. The number of deaths decreased by 8% compared to 2016.

In 2017 there were 38,020 road accidents with a total of 49,066 casualties. There were among them 44,694 light casualties and 3,757 serious casualties while 615 people lost their lives within 30 days after the accident.

Compared to the results of 2016 this represents a decrease for all road safety indicators: a decrease of 5% in the number of accidents and of 6% in the number of casualties. The number of deaths also went down (-8%), whereas the number of serious and light casualties decreased by 8% and 5% respectively.

The downward trend observed in recent years in the number of deaths on Belgian roads continued in 2017.

  2016 2017 2016-2017
Number of accidents 40.128 38.020 -5,3%
Number of casualties 51.928 49.066 -5,5%
Number of deaths 30 days 670 615 -8,2%
Number of serious casualties 4.095 3.757 -8,3%
Number of light casualties 47.163 44.694 -5,2%
Source: Statbel *Last update: June 2018

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.



Release calendar

Availability of results: 6 months after the reference period.


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.


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.