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Over-65s account for 26 per cent of traffic accident deaths in Spain, says DGT

People over 65 years of age are involved in more collisions than other age group of drivers, according the national Directorate-General for Traffic

J. BACORELLE

In 2021 there were 921 fatal accidents in which 1,004 people died and another 3,728 were seriously injured on Spain's roads. But there were 97 fewer deaths, a decrease of nine per cent, compared to 2019, making it the second least deadly year on record behind 2020 during which 870 people died. However, the Directorate-General for Traffic (DGT) say restrictions on movements during the Covid-19 pandemic have led to the decrease.

The greatest decrease by age group occurs in the group of people over 65 years of age, with a drop of 25 per cent. Meanwhile, the accident rate for young people between 15 and 24 years of age increased from 112 deaths in 2019 to 138 in 2021.

Some 38 per cent of people who died in traffic accidents were ‘vulnerable users’ including pedestrians, cyclists, and users of personal mobility vehicles. This group accounted for 383 deaths, 61 less than the 444 deaths recorded in 2019.

According to the National Institute of Statistics, by 2030, one out of every four Spaniards will be over 65 years old. The DGT notes that currently people over 64 years of age represent 19.6 per cent of the Spanish population, 16.5 per cent of drivers and 26 per cent of those killed in car accidents.

Alvaro Gómez, director of the National Road Safety Observatory of the Directorate-General for Traffic said over-65s are more at risk of being involved in an accident than other age groups.

According to the data on deaths and hospitalisations after a road accident, people over 65 years of age are involved in more accidents during the week and during the day, and they are in more crashes at junctions. They also commit more offences such as not wearing seat belts and the majority of victims are men. But they tend to have less fines for speeding, drug or alcohol use.