Tuesday 10 December 2019

Third of people killed in highway accidents were not wearing a seat belt

Almost a third of the 71 motorists and passengers involved in fatal accidents on the Dutch highways in 2017, were not wearing a seat belt, traffic association SWOV said in a new report.

In a further 11 cases it could not be ascertained if the victims were wearing seat belts  or not, the report said.

The report is based on police records of all fatal accidents on national roads in 2017, which includes motorways and some regional highways. In total, 63 accidents resulted in 71 deaths that year. The total number of traffic deaths in 2017 numbered 613.

Apart from not wearing seat belts, alcohol played a part in the number of deaths. Six of the accidents were caused by reckless driving under the influence while nine were caused by defective cars, worn tires and unbalanced loads.

Over a third of the fatal accidents involved cars older than 15 years although older cars only make up a fifth of the cars on the Dutch roads.

Three times as many men were killed as women, which according to the researchers, is a relatively high number because men only travel 1.5 times the number of kilometers that women travel.

The fatalities included four pedestrians. Two of these were autistic and underestimated the danger of crossing a motorway, one was hit by a car when leaving the car after an earlier accident and one had walked onto the road after leaving the car after a fight. Two motorists who drove up a motorway the wrong way also died.

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