highway safety

Road fatalities fall 12% in 2013, with a total of 1,680 killed

Highway authority warns of likely rise in fatalities during traffic-heavy July and August

Firefighters extract bodies from a car following an accident in Granada.
Firefighters extract bodies from a car following an accident in Granada.Imagen cedida por Ideal de Granada

Road traffic deaths fell 12 percent in 2013 from the year before, according to figures released by the traffic authority (DGT) on Thursday.

“The death toll fell 15 percent on intercity roads and two percent on city roads,” said the agency, which reported that a total of 1,680 people died on Spain’s highways last year.

There were also 5,529 serious injuries and 114,634 minor injuries.

Speaking ahead of the agency’s summer vacation campaign, DGT director María Seguí said that this was the most comprehensive study of road traffic accidents to date, as it included information from 100 percent of municipal authorities.

Being a pedestrian on city roads is the most dangerous thing of all”

María Segui, DGT chief

The report reveals that 171 of the people who died on roads last year, including four children, were not wearing seatbelts. Also, 76 percent of those killed were male.

Six out of every 10 accidents in which there are victims take place on city roads. “Being a pedestrian on city roads is the most dangerous thing of all,” noted Segui.

She said the agency was expecting 79 million road trips in July and August, and warned that the average daily death rate rises to six in these months, compared with five for the rest of the year.

“We are adamant that there will be no deaths in July and August,” she said.

Segui also warned that driving a car that is over 15 years old increases your chances of having an accident by a factor of five, and expressed concern that 43 percent of those drivers who were killed tested positive for drugs or alcohol.