How we crowdsourced a ton of data concerning dangerous traffic situations

Over 16 thousand reports and 77 thousand votes: working with 13 regional broadcasters, we collected a ton of information on unsafe traffic situations. In this post you’ll find out how our Unsafe Traffic Reporting Map resulted in this valuable dataset.

First, we’ll let you in on our most important insights on a national scale:

  • Over half of all dangerous traffic situations in the Netherlands are most unsafe for bikers, so say users of our Unsafe Traffic Reporting Map
  • After bikers, people driving cars seem to be most vulnerable: 22 percent of all named unsafe traffic situations are reportedly dangerous for motorists
  • Pedestrians conclude this ‘top three’, closely following motorists: according to our civilian reporters, they are in danger at 21 percent of all unsafe traffic spots
  • We also asked our users to tell us what sort of unsafe situation(s) there were at the reported road. By far, most of all traffic situations concerned speeding by motorists (44 percent)
  • Dangerous crossings are also quite common: 37 percent of all reported spots concern a crossing that’s considered unsafe by users
  • One in five unsafe traffic situations concerned a so called ‘shared road’, for example a road used by cars where there is no separate biking path

Using our new tool Mapgather, we created 13 separate crowdsource maps that were published by the regional broadcasters that cover the Netherlands. They made sure their audience knew about and participated in this research, by reporting unsafe traffic situations and answering questions about those roads. Within three weeks, over 16 thousand traffic points were collected. We analysed the data, revealing both important insights on a regional level and on a national scale.

Happy municipalities
This research resulted in a least 73 publications, the map showing all reports was viewed eight million times!

Even more important than all these numbers to us is the way these reports have been followed up by provinces, municipalities and other involved parties. For example, the many reports on unsafe traffic situations for bikers attracted the attention of representative Dennis Straat of the province of Utrecht. The city of Alkmaar says they are ‘very happy’ we started this reporting point. This municipality, that infamously counts the most reported unsafe traffic situations in the province of Noord-Holland, is now working on a new traffic safety plan. That plan will also include ‘subjective safety’ (do people feel safe in traffic?), for which they are able to use the data of our Unsafe Traffic Reporting Point.

With these results in hand, regional media are now reaching out to representatives in their district. Also, third parties concerned with traffic safety have requested access to the data. A couple of municipalities promised to tackle some of the problems at the reported roads. Of course, ‘our’ regional broadcasters will follow up on that. To be continued.

Click here to check out Mapgather and create your first crowd source map for free (