Surge in traffic fatalities during January raises concerns

by Lorraine Williamson
January fatalities
ASSSA

The Directorate General of Traffic (DGT) has issued a warning regarding a concerning increase in road fatalities during the month of January. According to the latest update as of February 1, 2024, there have been 82 fatal traffic accidents resulting in the tragic loss of 93 lives, marking an increase of 18 fatalities compared to the same month last year.

The Directorate General of Traffic (DGT) has issued a warning regarding a concerning increase in road fatalities during the month of January. According to the latest update, there have been 82 fatal traffic accidents resulting in the tragic loss of 93 lives, marking an increase of 18 fatalities compared to the same month last year.

Motorcyclists most affected

Motorcyclists remain the most affected group, contributing significantly to the rising accident rate with 24 fatalities, a stark increase of 10 compared to January 2023.

Disturbingly, 17 of the deceased individuals were not using the appropriate safety systems at the time of the accidents. Among them, 15 were occupants of cars, and 2 were motorcyclists. The month of January witnessed a total of 82 fatal accidents on the roads, claiming 93 lives—an increase of 18 compared to January 2023. This spike in incidents occurred against the backdrop of a 1.25% rise in overall mobility compared to the previous year, accounting for 32.2 million long-distance movements.

Eleven fatalities in just one day

The pattern of accidents varied significantly between the two halves of the month. The initial fifteen days saw 25 fatalities, with two days, January 6 and 12, experiencing no reported road fatalities. However, the situation took a drastic turn in the latter half of the month, with one day recording 11 fatalities, another with 10, and two additional days with 7 fatalities each. This starkly contrasts with the daily average of 1.8 fatalities during the first half of the month.

Fatalities increased on both motorways and conventional roads compared to the same month in the previous year, as depicted in the accompanying table. Notably, there was a significant rise in motorcycle fatalities, with 24 riders losing their lives—10 more than in January of the previous year. Of these 24 fatalities, 19 occurred on conventional roads.

Fatalities also rose among car occupants (46 compared to 41 the previous year), van occupants (6 compared to 3), truck occupants (5 compared to 4), bus passengers (1 compared to 0), and cyclists (2 compared to 1). The only decrease was observed in pedestrian fatalities (5 compared to 8 the previous year) and moped users (0 compared to 2).

Particularly concerning is the increase in side and front-side collisions, resulting in 15 fatalities—an increase of 12 compared to the same month the previous year. Conversely, pedestrian fatalities due to vehicle collisions decreased, with 5 fatalities, 4 fewer than in January 2023.

Seatbelts and helmets

Regarding the use of safety systems, 17 of the deceased individuals were not utilising the appropriate safety measures at the time of the accidents. Among them, 15 car occupants were not wearing seat belts, and 2 motorcyclists were not wearing helmets.

When analysing the data by autonomous communities, there is no consistent pattern in January. Andalucía recorded the highest increase in fatalities with 10 more deaths, while the Community of Madrid saw the most significant decline.

Also read: New DGT speeding fines

You may also like