Business Automobiles Traffic accidents claim 870 lives during 2020 (pending data...

Traffic accidents claim 870 lives during 2020 (pending data from the INE)


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The past 2020 has been a year to say the least, atypical and so that we understand the “stop” much better, today, the DGT has offered us the accident rate figures.

During the year 2020, they have occurred on interurban roads 797 fatal accidents in which 870 people have died and another 3,463 required hospital admission, which represents a decrease of 21 percent in the number of accidents and deaths (-213 accidents and -231 deaths) and a decrease of 22 percent in serious injuries (-970).

Is the lowest death toll in history and the first time that the number of deaths on interurban roads is less than 1,000, a fact that must be framed in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic and the limitations on mobility imposed to stop its spread, which have reduced travel 25 percent and consequently the road accident rate.

During 2020 there have been 321 million long-haul trips, which is a reduction of 25 percent compared to the previous year, that is, 106 million fewer road movements.

This decrease has been greater on weekends (-35.5%) than on weekdays (-20.8%) and in light vehicles (-29.40%) than in heavy vehicles (-2.6%) since the latter have continued to supply the entire population even during the harshest period of confinement.

Since March (included), the deceased have decreased every month except September (+ 1%). The maximum decreases in the death toll were recorded in April (-59%) and May (-50%), equivalent to the largest decreases in mobility of the year (-75% and -60%, respectively).

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The smallest decreases in the number of deaths occurred in July (-3%), August (-11%), and October (-8%).

The fleet of vehicles has increased by 1% reaching 34.8 million vehicles and the census of drivers has decreased by 0.7, remaining at 27.1 million drivers

It should be emphasized that these figures They are provisional pending those published by the INE, which are more realistic and offer the deaths derived from traffic accidents, hours after the accident and as a consequence of it.

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If we analyze the data, we must highlight the following key points:

  • Greater decrease in the accident rate on motorways and highways (-34%) than on conventional roads (-16%). 670 people died in traffic accidents that took place on conventional roads, 127 less than in 2019. Despite the decrease, this type of road continues to be the most dangerous and where the highest number of fatalities are registered (77% of the total number of deceased). On high-capacity roads, 200 people have died on motorways or expressways, compared to 304 in 2019. The deaths on these roads account for 23% of the total deaths.
  • The percentage of deaths due to road departure increases from 39% in 2019 to 44% in 2020. During the first state of alarm, 61% of those killed in fatal accidents occurred on road exits (compared to 40% of the average of the last five years between March 15 and June 20).
  • By means of displacement, Vulnerable users are the ones with the greatest decrease in 2020 with 29 percent compared to the average decrease of 21 percent of the deceased. Motorists have reduced their accident rate by 34 percent, with 189 deaths, 97 less than in 2019. There is also a single deceased by coach, which confirms the safety of passenger transport by road in our country. During the first state of alarm, trucks of more than 3,500 kg were the only means of transport in which their accident rate increased on the road (18 deaths in 2020, compared to 11 in 2019), and they went from representing 3% of the total of deaths on interurban roads between January 1 and March 14 to 15% during the state of alarm.
  • Lower decrease in deaths among young people aged 15 to 24 years and in the group aged 55 to 64 years with -15 percent in both groups. The greatest decreases are registered in the age groups 45 to 54 years (-26%), 25 to 34 years (-23%), over 64 years (-23%), and up to 14 years (19 to 7 deceased)
  • The non-use of the seat belt increases among the deceased in tourism and van though increases helmet use in motorcyclists.
  • Deaths decrease in all autonomous communities, with the exception of Castilla-La Mancha (+16 deaths compared to 2019), Illes Balears (+1 deceased compared to 2019), Cantabria (without variation compared to 2019), and Ceuta and Melilla (1 more deceased). The greatest percentage reductions among the communities with more than 10 deaths in 2020 are recorded in: Community of Madrid (from 90 to 44 deaths), Canarias (from 39 to 22), Catalonia (from 175 to 105), Asturias (from 21 to 13) and the Basque Country (from 38 to 25).
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