2021 ends with 1,004 deaths from traffic accidents, the second lowest figure in history


Last year a total of 1,004 people died in traffic accidents. The figure represents a decrease of 9% compared to 2019 - when traffic accidents claimed the lives of 1,101 people - but it must be put into context, because until May 9, the state of alarm that limited travel between communities was in effect autonomous and even within them.


X-ray of the murderer at the wheel: man, Spanish, in his mid-thirties and a heavy consumer of alcohol

X-ray of the murderer at the wheel: man, Spanish, in his mid-thirties and a heavy consumer of alcohol

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Even less comparable are the data for the same period in 2020, when a strict confinement confined citizens to their homes for part of the spring. Then 870 deaths were registered. The data published this Friday count the victims registered in the 24 hours following the accidents and only on interurban roads.

However, it is the second best figure since there are records (1960) only behind the “strange” 2020, although it also occurs in a context of reduced mobility. In relation to 2019, road trips fell by 8% last year, although mobility did begin to recover from the summer. Although by the minimum it has once again exceeded a thousand deaths on interurban roads. However, ten years ago the deaths on these roads reached 1,484. Then, there were 4.1 deaths per day, an index that in 2021 was 2.8.

"We have maintained the trend of reduction in the accident rate of the last decade, but the assessment cannot be positive because 1,004 deaths are many deaths," Interior Minister Fernando Grande Marlaska said at a press conference. The minister also recalled that three out of four deaths did so on conventional roads, up to a total of 723; while the deaths on highways and highways reached 282. And he has insisted that "excessive or inappropriate" speed appears as the "common and transversal" factor in all fatal accidents.

Regarding age, Grande Marlaska has highlighted the increase in the accident rate in young people between 15 and 24 years old, which has increased by 23% compared to 2019 to a total of 128 deaths. In contrast, the greatest decrease among the deceased has occurred in the group over 64 years of age, with a 25% drop in relation to 2019. In the absence of an "in-depth analysis" of these figures, the General Director of Traffic, Pere Navarro, has said that the fall in the number of older victims could be related to a decrease in their displacements due to the pandemic, while there has been a greater presence of young people.

Marlaska has also emphasized the need to use security features. Thus, he recalled that 140 deaths in cars and vans did not use seat belts, which represents 26% of all fatalities. "If they had done so, half would have saved their lives," he assured. Neither did ten of the 241 deceased motorists wear helmets. The new traffic law, whose main novelties will come into force on March 21, raises from three to four the points that will be lost for not using or doing it incorrectly the seat belt, helmet and other protective elements and maintains the same penalty of 200 euros.

In fact, the Interior Minister has insisted that one of the great "challenges" in terms of road safety continues to be the protection of so-called vulnerable users: pedestrians, cyclists and mopeds. These users accounted for 38% of those killed on highways last year, up to a total of 383. Although they are 61 less than in 2019, they are figures that continue to generate much concern in the Government. By type, 110 pedestrians were run over, eight fewer than in 2019; and 31 cyclists and 241 motorists died. A scooter user also died, some vehicles that are prohibited on conventional roads, highways and highways.

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