Spain ends January with highest number of traffic accident deaths in a decade

by Lorraine Williamson
road accident

MADRID – In January 2022, 87 fatal accidents occurred on Spanish roads. In total, 100 people died, 27 more than in the same month of reference year 2019. This is the worst month in ten years since 102 people died in January 2012.  

This was reported by the Spanish traffic service DGT. From now on it wants to report monthly on the development of the number of accidents on Spanish roads. It is noteworthy that the increase took place in a quiet January month, with 1% fewer long-distance movements than in January 2019.  

Increase on motorways and motorways 

The increase in the number of accidents occurred mainly on motorways and highways. There were many casualties at the weekends due to cars going off the road. Factors such as speed, distraction, and alcohol consumption played a part in this, said the director of the Road Safety Observatory of the Directorate-General for Traffic, Álvaro Gómez. DGT pointed to the sharp increase in casualties on highways or motorways compared to January 2019. The number rose from 15 deaths in January 2019 to a total of 39 in this first month of 2022. On interurban roads, there were 61 deaths, up from 58 in January 2019. The number of victims killed in road accidents, mainly on highways and motorways, rose from 24 in 2019 to 36 in January this year. 

Means of transport and safety measures 

The number of fatal accidents involving passenger cars increased the most. In January 2019, there were 35 fatalities compared to 49 this year. The figure for vulnerable road users remained stable with 28 deaths. In January 2022, 14 of the 100 road fatalities were motorcyclists, 11 were pedestrians, 6 were van drivers, 5 were drivers of trucks over 3,500 kilograms, 3 were cyclists, 1 was a driver of a truck up to 3,500 kilograms and for 11 victims it is unknown in which vehicle they participated in traffic.  Eleven fatalities were not wearing a seat belt at the time of the accident and one fatality was riding a bicycle without a helmet.  

Autonomous regions 

There were large differences between the autonomous regions. Andalucia, Valencia, and Castile-La Mancha showed a significant increase compared to the figures of January 2019. Specifically, in the region of Andalusia, 24 people died in road accidents in January, compared to 13 in January 2019. This was followed by region Valencia with 16 (6 in 2019), Castile-La Mancha with 14 (4 in 2019), Catalonia with 12 (8 in 2019), Galicia with 7 (4 in 2019), Castile and Leon with 6 (2 in 2019), Community of Madrid with five (three in 2019), the Balearic Islands with 4(5 in 2019) and Extremadura with 3 fatalities (2 in 2019).  

In Aragon, 2 people died in traffic accidents last January (6 in 2019), 2 in Asturias (3 in 2019), 2 in Murcia (3 in 2019), and 2 in the Basque Country (1 in 2019), 1 in Navarre (0 in 2019). There were zero in the Canary Islands (8 in 2019), in Cantabria (2 in 2019), in La Rioja (3 in 2019), in Ceuta (0 in 2019), and in Melilla (0 in 2019).  

Black Sunday 

Lastly, DGT announced that Sunday 30 January was the day with the most fatalities in traffic. There were 12 deaths in traffic.

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