In a startling revelation, the Directorate General of Traffic (DGT) has reported a distressing surge in road fatalities during the month of September. According to the latest official update dated October 2, 2023, there were a total of 92 fatal traffic accidents, leading to the tragic loss of 102 lives.
This concerning increase comes against the backdrop of a 2% rise in mobility compared to the same period last year.
Variation in accident types
A notable shift in the nature of accidents has been observed during September. Fatalities from head-on collisions have decreased. However, there has been a concerning rise in deaths due to vehicles going off the road. Such incidents, where only the accident vehicle is involved, accounted for 49 fatalities. This is a surge of 9 compared to September 2022. Additionally, accidents involving vulnerable users, particularly motorcyclists, have seen a significant uptick.
The last weekend of September proved to be exceptionally grim, recording 16 deaths in 15 fatal road accidents. Alarmingly, more than half of these victims were vulnerable users, including motorcyclists, pedestrians, and cyclists. The accidents were evenly spread between conventional roads and highways, indicating a widespread issue in different types of roadways.
Safety system negligence
A shocking revelation from the DGT’s report is that 12 of the deceased were not using any safety devices at the time of the accidents. Among them, 11 car drivers and 1 truck driver, weighing more than 3,500 kg, were not wearing their seat belts. This emphasises the importance of adhering to safety regulations, which can significantly reduce the risk of fatalities in accidents.
September did not follow a uniform pattern across different autonomous communities. Regions like Asturias and Castilla y León witnessed slight increases in accidents. Meanwhile, others, including Galicia and the Community of Madrid, reported lower fatalities compared to the previous year. This disparity indicates a need for targeted interventions in specific regions to address the root causes of accidents.
As the year progresses towards winter, it is crucial for authorities and motorists alike to prioritise road safety. The recent spike in fatalities serves as a stark reminder of the risks associated with careless driving and the importance of adhering to safety protocols. The DGT’s report underscores the urgent need for awareness campaigns, stricter law enforcement, and community initiatives to curb road accidents and save lives.