Road safety statistics for 2023: A review by DGT

by Lorraine Williamson
2023 statistics

MADRID – The Directorate General of Traffic (DGT) has released its annual report on road safety, revealing key statistics for the year 2023.

The Minister of Interior, Fernando Grande-Marlaska, presented the findings at the DGT headquarters in Madrid, accompanied by Susana Crisóstomo, the sub-secretary, and Pere Navarro, the director-general of Traffic.

In 2023, a total of 1,145 individuals lost their lives in road accidents, maintaining a steady figure compared to the previous year. Despite the stability in the number of fatalities, there was a 2% increase in long-distance journeys, a 1.7% rise in the vehicle fleet, and a 0.4% growth in the number of drivers. Notably, the most common accident leading to fatalities was running off the road, accounting for 42% of total deaths, with 486 casualties.

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Minister Grande-Marlaska emphasiSed the preventable nature of most traffic accidents and called for collective efforts to reduce these tragic numbers. He reiterated the importance of avoiding distractions, adhering to traffic regulations, and utilizing safety systems to significantly decrease the grim statistics.

Overview of Road Safety Trends based on the 2023 statistics

General Trends:
  • Total fatalities: 1,145 in 2023, maintaining stability from the previous year.
  • Long-distance journeys increased by 2%, vehicle fleet by 1.7%, and the driver population by 0.4%.
Accident Types:
  • Running off the road remains the leading cause, contributing to 42% of fatalities.
  • Frontal collisions reduced by 9% (225 in 2023 compared to 246 in 2022).
  • Motorcyclists experienced a 15% increase in fatalities, with 299 deaths in 2023.
User Categories:
  • Vulnerable users’ fatalities increased by 9%, primarily attributed to a 19% rise in motorcyclist deaths.
  • Pedestrian deaths from collisions decreased, particularly on highways and expressways.
Age and Gender:
  • The age group of 45-54 recorded a 20% increase in fatalities.
  • Child mortality rose, with 22 deaths in 2023, the second-highest in the past decade.
  • The 65 and older age group saw a 10% decrease in fatalities.
Regional Analysis:
  • Andalucia and Catalonia had the highest accident rates, both experiencing a decrease from the previous year.
  • La Rioja and Navarre reported the lowest accident rates, each comprising 1% of the total.

Proposed Safety Measures for 2024

In response to the data, the Ministry of Interior outlined key focus areas for road safety in 2024, with an emphasis on:

  1. Motorcyclist Safety Measures:
    • Update recovery courses to include a specific profile for motorcyclists.
    • Mandate a compulsory course for B-license holders driving motorcycles up to 125cc.
    • Enforce the use of full-face or modular helmets and approved gloves for motorcyclists on the road.
  2. Traffic Regulation Reforms:
    • Revise the Traffic Regulation to update the Traffic Signal Catalog.
    • Promote the reform of Driver, Vehicle, and Circulation Regulations for autonomous vehicle regulation.

Minister Grande-Marlaska concluded by reaffirming the commitment of the Ministry of Interior to continuous efforts in enhancing coordination, public-private collaboration, and individual responsibility to reduce road mortality figures.

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