The summer has ended with 191 deaths on Spanish roads, the least tragic number of deaths since there is a record of accidents and despite the fact that the number of trips has recovered to levels prior to the COVID pandemic, with 90.8 million displacements in July and August.
About to ‘screw it up’: road accidents escalate to prendemic levels
Accompanied by the general director of the DGT, Pere Navarro; The special prosecutor for Road Safety, Bartolomé Vargas, and the general of the Traffic group of the Civil Guard, the Minister of the Interior, Fernando Grande-Marlaska, presented this Friday the accident balance for the summer, which leaves eleven less dead than to 2020 and 24 less than in 2019, the reference year, since the past was marked by the pandemic.
“We must not fall into triumphalism: 191 deaths are many, too many”, has made clear Marlaska who, however, has recognized that the statistics “are less bad” than expected.
During July, with 43.2 million trips, 95 fatal accidents were registered with 99 victims, which places this month of 2021 as the best July in the historical series in terms of accidents. There were 16 fewer deaths than last year and 18 fewer than in July 2019.
Meanwhile, in the 47.5 million trips that took place in August, 92 people died in 83 fatal accidents, five more than last year, although in five days this month no one lost their lives on Spanish roads.
The Interior Minister has emphasized that the levels of holiday traffic prior to the pandemic have recovered, with a 9.6 percent increase in trips compared to the summer period of 2020 and just 0.38 below the that were made in 2019.
Fridays have been the busiest days in summer, and Tuesdays the least. In addition, the change of fortnight and the transfer in some autonomous communities of the holiday from August 15 to Monday 16 made Operation Exit of August 15 the one with the highest number of long-distance trips registered, with almost 7 million.
“Every day three citizens have lost their lives on the roads,” Marlaska stressed before reiterating that the Executive will not admit “as an inevitable evil” road deaths. “We can and must put an end to them and I trust in the collaboration of all the actors to achieve that goal,” he reiterated.
Conventional roads are once again the scene of the most fatal accidents, specifically three out of four, where 138 people perished, while 53 deaths were registered on the highway. The causes of the claims are also the usual ones. Road exits prevail in most cases due to speeding and frontal crashes.
And although the victims in the group of vulnerable users decrease in total by 30 percent due to the reduction in the deaths of motorcyclists -48 deaths, 21 less than in 2019- and cyclists -6 dead, four less-, both Marlaska and Navarro have expressed concern about the increase in dead pedestrians, 23 people, which is nine more than two years ago.
Therefore, the Interior Minister has advanced that the department will analyze “in depth” the accidents of pedestrians to adopt complementary measures and plans to stop this accident that involved 10 run over on highways and 13 on secondary roads.
83% of victims were men (158) and 17% women (33), while the number of deaths in the age group between 15 and 24 years increased with 32 deaths, 9 more than in 2019. Likewise, the number of deaths decreased. deceased in the age group over 65 years with 30 deaths, 5 less than in 2019.
Marlaska has regretted that 1 in 4 deaths in tourism and van did not use a seat belt (25 deceased) and that, of the 2 deceased children, 1 did not use any safety accessories.
Regarding the 6 deceased cyclists, 2 did not wear helmets. Neither was 1 of the 48 deceased motorists wearing it.