“Worrying numbers” of motorcyclists killed in Spain

by Lorraine Williamson

MADRID – Since July 1, 60 motorcyclists have died on the roads, which is an average of more than one person per day. This number is an increase compared to the same period last year. 

Álvaro Gómez, director of the National Observatory for Road Safety, reported this on Thursday. Motorcyclists make up 29% of the 205 road deaths this summer, although motorcycles only account for 16% of the total vehicle fleet. Consequently, these figures are considered “worrying” by Gómez. 

Almost half of road casualties were motorcyclists 

Particularly disturbing was last weekend, when six of the 13 people who died were motorcyclists. This year, 190 motorcyclists have already died, which is 27% of the total number of road deaths, an increase of 11% compared to last year. 

Also read: July ends with 115 fatalities in traffic accidents 

Victims are mainly men with a lot of driving experience 

The profile of the motorcyclists who died this summer: almost all men (97%) between the ages of 35 and 64 (65%), with many years of riding experience. Half of the accidents occurred on weekends and 65% of the vehicles involved were heavy engines over 500 cc. 

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Combination of high speed, distraction and not responding in time 

At a press conference, Gómez stressed according to El País the “vulnerability” of motorcycles on the road and called on motorcyclists not to become overconfident “under any circumstances”. He says a common mistake that can lead to a fatal accident is a combination of speeding, distraction and not reacting to the road in a timely manner. 

Protective clothing 

He further emphasised the importance of protective clothing, such as jackets, gloves and protective pants. According to recent data from the DGT, less than half of the motorcyclists killed use these protective devices, apart from a helmet. 

Total number of road deaths decreased in July 

While the numbers on motorcyclists are alarming, overall road deaths fell 6% in July compared to last year. From July 1 to 27, the number of people who died was 102. This is compared to 130 in the same period in 2022. Furthermore, there is also a significant decrease in the first seven months of this year. In 2022, 661 people died from January 1 to July 27, while this number will be 602 in the same period in 2023. That´s a decrease of 9%. 

Most traffic movements 

August is the month with the most traffic movements. Moreover, according to DGT forecasts, about 49 million vehicles will be on the road this August. 

Also read: Spain requires an airbag for student motor cyclists 

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