The latest report has been released which details the number of incidents on Spanish roads, and, specifically, the areas considered to be of risk, and the number of incidents recorded.
Nationally, there are 3,264 kilometres of road which is classes as being of “high” or “very high” risk, largely due to the number of recorded incidents in these areas, although there is a slight decrease in the figures for 2015. That said, the risk of a fatal or serious incident is still 3.5 times greater on conventional roads than on motorways of highways.
The report, which looked at a total of 24,805 kilometres of roads, examines the risk by taking into account the number of recorded incidents and injuries or fatalities during the last three-years, including the severity of the incident, which is then calculated into a “Risk Index”, based on the number of fatal and serious incidents occurring per 1,000 million vehicles per kilometre.
For the calculation of the results, a total of 4,101 incidents occurred on the national road network in the years 2013, 2014 and 2015, of which 1,036 were fatal incidents. Resulting in 1,219 deaths, and 3,065 serious incidents, with 4,077 people seriously injured. All these incidents have been assigned to 1,387 sections of road with a length of more than 24,805 kilometres.
The conclusion is that there are 77 “High Risk” sections, of which 17 are “Black-spots”. In these “High Risk” sections, there have been an average of 143 fatal and serious incidents each year, leaving an average of 36 deaths and 144 serious injuries. The average daily intensity in these sections is 4,835 vehicles per day.
The most statistically dangerous risk section of the Spanish road network is on the N-435, between km 33.4 and 45.9 in Badajoz, between the start of the Almendral residential area and the beginning of Barracota. In this 12.5 kilometre stretch of road, there have been five serious incidents between 2013 and 2015, with a result of three deaths and four serious injuries, and for the third consecutive year this section is considered as “High Risk”. Of the five fatal and serious incidents, one corresponds to a motorcycle user and one to a heavy goods vehicle user. The average daily intensity of vehicles is 2,844 a day.
The other four sections that complete the five most dangerous in the country are located on the N-120, between kilometres 535.2 and 549.5 in Lugo, where there have been eight major incidents. The N-630, between kilometres 66.6 and 87.1 in Asturias, where there have been 10 serious incidents. On the N-547, between kilometres 47.3 and 54.8 in A Coruña, where there have been four major incidents. The N-260, between kilometres 193.9 and 204.4 in Lleida, where seven serious incidents have occurred.
In terms of the risk with respect to the total number of kilometres per community, Cantabria has a higher proportion of high risk roads, with 20.87% of the roads; Followed by Aragón, with 18.84%; Castilla y León, with 15.58% and the Principality of Asturias, with 15.30%.
The report also notes that the number of incidents involving motorcycles in the total of fatal and serious incidents in Spain has continued to increase. In fact, since 2003 the number of motorcyclists involved in the recorded incidents has almost tripled in the case of serious or fatal incidents from 7.8% in 2003 to 22.6% in 2015, so that one of every five fatal or serious incidents involves a motorcyclist.
The N-332 main road, between km 220.5 and 225.6 in Valencia, and the V-31, between km 0 and 5.7, also in Valencia, are the two locations where more incidents involving motorcyclists and scooters have been recorded in the latest road evaluation study.
Incidents involving heavy goods vehicles account for around 22% of the total of fatal and serious incidents. Thus, 13.5% of fatal and serious incidents involving heavy vehicles are concentrated in 20 road sections, compared to 9.7% of the overall results. As with motorcycles, the report makes it clear where these incidents are most likely to occur.
The DGT will now take the findings of the report into account, and embark on the next wave of road improvements to try to reduce these risk factors. However, it is not only the responsibility of the road authorities to make a difference, it is the responsibility of each and every driver to ensure that we all do our bit to maintain compliance with traffic law, because warnings and instructions, albeit in signs or statistics, are there to assist us to make the right choices in ensuring that the roads are safer for all.