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Road Fatality and Injury Statistics Released

by Mark Nolan
5 minutes read

The Director General of Traffic, María Seguí, has this week presented the conclusions of road incident statistics for 2014.

Last year there were 91,570 injury incidents in which 1,688 people died and 9,574 were injured to such a severity they needed admission in a hospital. On average, there were 4.6 deaths on the road every day.

One of the most worrying trends is the increase in deaths in vans, doubling from 51 deaths in 2013 to 100 deaths in 2014. Also worrying is the fact that 2 out of every 5 people killed in cars or vans were not wearing a seat belt at the time of the incident.

However, despite that for the first time since 2009 there has been an increase in the number of long-haul journeys by 1.6%, with 359.8 million journeys on the roads, 5 out of the 13 key performance indicators for road safety between 2010 and 2020 have already been achieved.

During 2014, in addition to the 1.6% increase in traffic, there has been a 2% increase in the number of injury incidents. There has also been a 5% decrease in the number of hospitalisations, and a 0.4% accidents and the minor injuries, a decrease of 5% in hospitalized wounded but a 0.4% increase in the number of fatalities.

Specifically, of the 91,570 injury accidents, in which 1,688 people died, that is an increase of 8 fatalities over 2013.

The data maintains Spain´s position in fifth place in the scale of European rankings by rate of fatalities with 36 deaths per million inhabitants, well below the European average rate which stands at 52, and ahead of countries like France, Germany, Italy and Finland.

The aging fleet of vehicles on the roads is still continuing, despite incentives for subsidies on new cars. Now, more than half of the cars on Spanish roads are 10 years of age or older, a fact that increases the risk of dying or being seriously injured compared to incidents involving vehicles of 5 years of age or less. In the case of fatal incidents in 2014, the average age of passenger cars involved was 12.1 years on urban roads and 13.3 years on urban roads.

In 2014, the number of registered vehicles cars on the roads was 30,976,047. During that year, 1,146,125 new vehicles were registered, 3,095,592 vehicles were transferred and 1,100,176 were decommissioned.

In terms of drivers, there are now 26,217,202 licensed drivers in charge of vehicles, a figure slightly below the previous year of 26,401,660. In addition, last year, 411,583 new drivers were registered and 3,089,952 driving license renewals were made. The data also reveals that the age of drivers is gradually increasing, parallel to the aging of the population, with 13% of drivers now 65 or older.

As regards the road network, it is estimated that there are over 660,000 kilometres of roads, of which over 489,000 are urban and managed by the municipalities, and more than 165,567 are intercity roads, of which 2% (3,036 km.) correspond to toll roads; 7% (11,682 km.) to free motorways and expressways; 1% (1,640 km.) of dual carriageways and 149,209 km (90%) to other conventional roads.

As the details of road incidents, 3 out of every 5 injury incidents occurred on urban roads, but fatal incidents were concentrated on intercity roads.

Last year, 38% of all injury incidents took place on interurban roads, representing 35,147 of the total. However, that was a 6% decrease compared to 2013. There were also a decline in the number of serious injuries by 7% and minor injuries by 5%, but there was a 1% increase in the number of fatalities. On these roads, 74% of all fatalities occurred.

On urban roads, there were 56,423 injury incidents, in which 441 people died (26% of the total), 4,740 were injured and hospitalized and 68,365 suffered minor injuries. Over the previous year, the number of injury incidents and minor injuries grew by 8%, but the number of deaths decreased by 9 people.

As has become the norm in recent years, 66% of incidents where at least one person died happened on weekdays and 63% of those incidents between 8am and 8pm.

Incidents where vehicles left the road is the biggest cause of fatalities, with 32% of deaths attributed to that type of incident, whereas the second most frequent incidents where a death occurred involved a pedestrian, 18% of the total number of incidents. In fact, 20% of all road fatalities in 2014 were pedestrians, with 336 people losing their lives, 132 they were in intercity roads and 204 on urban streets. In total, 336 pedestrians were killed, 40 less than the previous year.

There was a decline in the number of deaths in all age groups except the 45 to 54 years of age group, where an additional 48 people lost their lives, and those aged over 85, where an additional 9 people were killed compared to 2013.

Of the 746 people killed in cars, 23% were not wearing a seatbelt, 171 people losing their lives as a result. In addition, 23 of the 76 fatalities in vans were also not strapped in.

In addition, 11 of the 287 motorcyclists killed were not wearing a crash helmet at the time of the incident, and for moped riders, 9 of the 53 people who were killed were also not wearing a helmet.

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