March 2, 2021

Deaths in traffic accidents in the Canary Islands down 80% in two decades – La Provincia

The number of deaths in accidents on the Canary interurban roads drops by 80.6% in two decades. This follows from the provisional balance of the year 2019 that the General Directorate of Traffic announces (DGT). It only analyzes the events that occurred in these routes and those that died 24 hours after it, but we can already speak of historical data in the positive balance. In the Canary Islands, 39 were killed compared to 176 in 1998 – 81 in the province of Las Palmas and 95 in the province of Santa Cruz de Tenerife -, the year with the most deaths.

However, this 2019 figure does not represent the historical minimum. On the contrary, it was reached in 2012 and 2013, with only 34 in both cases. Only in 2011 (38) the figure was also lower than that of the aforementioned 2019. It was in 2008 when the trend began to radically reverse (see attached table) when passing the figure from 105 to 68. With respect to the previous year, 2018, when the deadly account went up to 43 people, there have been four fewer deaths.

The definitive data of the annual summary, which includes both the interurban and urban roads and those that died within thirty days after the accident are also similar in the historical series. Thus, since 1997 when it starts at the provincial level by the DGT the difference is abysmal. For better. That year 171 people died on the island roads (88 in Las Palmas and 93 in Santa Cruz de Tenerife). The next, 1998, the maximum of the historical series was reached with 231 dead (111 and 120).

The year 2011 marks a downward trend since it went from the 76 dead from 2010 to 47. However, it was not possible to maintain it and in 2012 61 people died on the Canarian roads.

In this period of peak oscillation of the figures, 2013 resulted in 48 deaths, which become 57 in 2014, 62 in 2015 and 71 in 2016. The upward progression breaks slightly in 2017 with a balance of 67 and changes again in 2018 with a decline at 53.

The definitive data remains to be known but the 39 fatalities of the interurban roads allow us to anticipate that it will be lowered from the 53 totals of last year with the addition of the urban ones.

Change of trend

By provinces there is some curiosity to consider. From 1993 to 2008 mortality is higher in Las Palmas than in Santa Cruz de Tenerife. That year the trend changes with 44 dead in the western province and 41 in the eastern for a total of 85.

Nationally, the data released a few days ago show a positive balance. There have been 1,098 deaths on the roads that are located outside the cities, 90 less (-7.6%) than in 2018 and 805 less than a decade ago. They are the best data since there are records (1960) above 2015 when 1,131 people died.

The maximum number of deaths in all kinds of roads occurred nationwide in 1989, with 7,188. From there there has been a slow downward trend. The definitive forecast is that in 2019 that global decline will be maintained. For the Ministry of Interior and the DGT, a key factor is the reduction of the maximum speed limit on conventional roads from 100 to 90 kilometers per hour.

According to the balance of the DGT, “speeding is transverse in the causes of accidents with fatalities.” It is always present. It is also worth noting the distractions due to the use of the mobile while driving.

Both nationally and in the Canary Islands there are three factors related to mobility to be taken into account to understand the importance of changing trends in the number of fatalities: the increase in long-distance journeys, the number of vehicles and the drivers census.


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