Brussels’ traffic is kinda safe

Imagine my amazement: when processing the numbers from the Belgian traffic accidents in 2005 (statbel), Brussels turns out to be a lot safer than one would suspect. Or let’s just say: there’s worse:
ongevallen in Belgie: 2005

  • Brussels had 5000 accidents in 2005. If we only count the heavy cases (people died or were heavily wounded), and divide that by the population, we get 0.31 heavily injured per thousand inhabitants. This is the lowest number for the whole of Belgium!!
  • Antwerp had almost 2000 accidents more (6854), with a slightly smaller population, which gives them 0.82 dead/heavily injured per 1000 inhabitants (dhi/1000). This is average.
  • Gent? 4000 accidents for 508.000 inhabitants, and a 0.85 dhi/1000.
  • Thought the cities were dangerous? Get ready for the dark dangerous roads of Wallonie: Dinant (1.64 dhi/1000), Philippeville (1.96 dhi/1000), Bastogne (2.02 dhi/1000), Neufchateau (2.12 dhi/1000) and the most dangerous arrondissement in Belgium: Marche-en-Famenne with 2.44 dead/heavily injured victims per 1000 citizens. That’s 1 in 400.
  • Most deadly victims (not counting ‘just’ heavy injuries)? Marche en Famenne, Virton, Namur have 3.5 to 4% of all victims in a traffic accident die. Ath and Neufchateau actually have almost 6%. If you really need to crash, stay out of Wallonie. Like Sint-Niklaas (0.7% deadly victims) or, again, Brussels (0.6%).
  • What do these numbers tell us: in spite of exceptionally bad driving, parking and skipping red lights, Brussels is the safest place to participate in traffic. Next in line? Halle-Vilvoorde! I am as astonished as you are.

5 thoughts on “Brussels’ traffic is kinda safe”

  1. the bigger the city (and the better its public transport and the sparser parking space is), the fewer journeys are done motorised (instead: walking, public transport, bicycle). also average speed is slower in cities.

    that should explain the numbers, IMHO.

  2. This is – I think – because it’s accidents per inhabitants; the big cities populate a lot of people that don’t owe cars, because they cannot afford one, or because they feel they do not need one (like I do) – that’s why Brussels, Antwerp and Ghent score that good, and the smaller places in Wallonia (where it is hard to survive without a car) score this badly…

  3. In general, city traffic is relatively slow. I understand Marche-en-Famenne, because I drive there regularly on the N4 to avoid the E411 on my way to Luxembourg.
    Whereas you see that people actually drive slower on the motorways than they used to, this is not the case on the N4. Speed goes easily over 130, and sometimes you have to reduce your speed to 90 or even 70, and I don’t see this happening.
    It would be nice to see *when* the accidents in Brussels happen, weekend or weekdays? I bet that there aren’t many incidents during the week, because the city is so full of cars.

    People driving through red lights in Brussels isn’t as dangerous (on average!) as somewhere else, because you don’t get to the other side of the crossroads. The only result is that you block people from the side streets from gettting across.

    On top of that, there are things like population numbers as frank said… Marche has a major road crossing town, but hardly any inhabitants, just as an example.

  4. Indeed Mike.

    Have you ever driven faster than 3kmh in Brussels?
    Nope.

    Have you ever driven slower than 120kmh in the Ardennes-region?
    Nope.

    No extra points for guessing what hurts most when you lose it.

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