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:
- 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.