the emergency services were unable to do anything, “the driver was catapulted out of the car”

One in two motorists killed is in an accident where they are the only one involved: here are the municipalities most affected


The percentage of unilateral accidents is particularly high in around seventy municipalities in Wallonia.

The victim cannot blame another road user, since he or she is the only one involved. We are talking here about a unilateral accident. In Belgium, this type of disaster with victims represents almost one accident in five. “One in four in Wallonia,” specifies Benoît Godart, spokesperson for Vias. At the beginning of 2024, the Institute completed a study to better understand the characteristics and circumstances in which these road tragedies occur.

First observation, these accidents are particularly deadly. “Although they are responsible for 17% of all road casualties, they are the cause of 37% of deaths, or more than one in three deaths, all users combined. And if we only take unilateral accidents involving a motorist, we arrive at one accident in two,” emphasizes Benoît Godart. One-sided car accidents are on average six times more serious than car accidents involving another vehicle or a pedestrian.

The percentage of one-sided accidents is highest where traffic density is low, particularly in southern Wallonia. Around seventy municipalities, located mainly in the provinces of Namur and Luxembourg, record a rate of at least 40%. Stoumont is the Belgian municipality in which the percentage of these accidents is the highest: 64%, followed by Sainte-Ode, Anthisnes and Saint-Hubert. Most Flemish municipalities recorded less than 30%. Brussels-Capital has less than 15% of unilateral car accidents.

This phenomenon is not surprising: municipalities with a high population density are characterized by a large number of users, which more easily leads to claims between several parties. The percentage of one-sided car accidents recorded over the last ten years in Belgium is 9% in urban areas, 23% outside urban areas and 29% on motorways.

The fateful hour

Overall, this phenomenon is over-represented at night. “Between 1 a.m. and 4 a.m., approximately one accident in two is a one-sided accident. Between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m., it is less than one in five. The time of the week when there are the most one-sided accidents is Tuesday at 3 a.m.: 62% of accidents involve only one vehicle; on Wednesday at noon, on the other hand, only 9% of accidents involved only one vehicle. », Compares Benoît Godart.

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The consequences depend on the type of user involved. The share of cyclists killed in a one-sided accident amounts to 18% of all cyclists killed in a road accident. As for car occupants, it is “only” 22% of victims but 53% of deaths.

“Accidents involving a single user are a major issue in road safety policy, particularly because of their seriousness. Often, a human factor is at the origin of these accidents,” concludes the road safety specialist, also pointing out the fact that the infrastructure and potential obstacles located along the roadway must also be subject to inspection. special attention because they can worsen the consequences.



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