The pandemic caused by the coronavirus has made 2020 an exceptional year. Also in terms of traffic, where last spring’s confinement, mobility restrictions and new habits such as teleworking have been decisive in reducing the accident rate. During the past year there were 797 fatal accidents on interurban roads, in which 870 people died and another 3,463 required hospital admission, which represents a decrease of around 20% in both the number of accidents (-213) and the number of of deceased (-231).
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This is the lowest number of road deaths since recorded (1960). For the first time, there were not more than a thousand deaths on interurban roads, while sixty years ago there were 1,300 deaths. In 2000, the number of deaths on these roads reached 4,200 and in 2010 1,800.
“It is not a triumphalist balance. We would never do it and even less this year ”, explained in a press conference the Minister of the Interior, Fernando Grande Marlsaka, who has withdrawn that this drop in all indicators is a consequence of“ the health crisis and the limitations and restrictions on mobility imposed to control the pandemic ”. “The state of alarm, the confinements and the stoppage of economic activity, together with other factors such as teleworking or videoconferencing explain the reduction in travel and the fall in road accidents”, he stressed.
Before the drastic reduction in mobility due to the coronavirus, the year had not started well in terms of road accidents. Between January 1 and March 14, when the state of alarm came into force and the total confinement of the population was decreed, the number of deaths on the roads increased by 8% compared to the same period in 2019.
However, during the first state of alarm – from March 15 to June 20 – the number of deaths was reduced by 59%. In this period there were 32 days without any deaths on roads compared to ten days in the same period of 2019. This downward trend in the number of deaths also continued afterwards, since since last June 21 the number of road deaths decreased by 12% in relation to the same dates of the previous year.