File image. / PHOTO: R.C. / VIDEO: E.P.

Deaths of 'vulnerable' road users in Spain: “We need to continue our efforts to save lives,” says DGT head

This summer 92 motorcyclists, cyclists and pedestrians have been killed, 41% of the total number of victims

ANTONIO PANIAGUA Madrid

This summer 92 vulnerable users (motorcyclists, cyclists and pedestrians) died on Spanish roads, accounting for 41% of fatalities. Figures released on Monday by the Ministry of the Interior show that 63 of these victims had been on motorbikes and 19 were pedestrians. “This is an unresolved problem and we need to continue our efforts,” said the general director of Spain’s Directorrate-General for Traffic (DGT), Pere Navarro.

Of the 19 pedestrians who died, eight were on a motorway or dual carriageway and 11 on conventional roads. Fifteen lost their lives at night or at dusk and 11 of them were not wearing a reflective jacket.

Of the victims, 81% were men and 19% women. It is notable that the number of deaths in the 35 to 44 age group increased: there were 43 fatalities in that age group, ten more than in 2019.

"Even one death is too many"

The figures also show that 225 people died in traffic accidents in Spain in July and August this year, which was ten more than in 2019. "That is bad. Even one death on the roads is too many," said Interior Minister Fernando Grande-Marlaska, when presenting the statistics.

On average, six people die on Spanish roads every day but surprisingly, considering the amount of traffic in the summer in general, the number of deaths in July was considerably higher than in August: 128 compared with 97.

So far this year 753 people have died, compared with 708 in 2019. Although speeding is one major cause of traffic accidents and deaths, the authorities are concerned that so many drivers and passengers do not comply with the seat belt law: 22% of those who died in cars or vans were not wearing one. Of motorcyclists who were killed, 52 were not wearing a crash helmet, and nor were one in seven cyclists.

By type of accident, 40% of victims died when their vehicle left the road, compared with 23% in head-on collisions.