We also know that maintaining your vehicle is important, the use of cell phones is prohibited whilst driving as distractions can be fatal (even using hands free or Bluetooth as your conversation may be the distraction), or driving while under the influence of alcohol is obviously a danger to our safety and that of others. It still seems there is a long way to go before we are fully aware of how important it is to follow these basic rules since, speeding, not wearing a seatbelt, inadequate maintenance of our vehicles, using a cell phone while driving and driving under the influence of alcohol and other drugs are still the most common offences. According to the studies on driving by the DGT, 39% of the vehicles on our normal roads (those with one lane in either direction) drive over the speed limit. In one week in October, during a 7 day campaign to study driving on our normal roads the Guardia Civil fined 34,672 motorists for these offences. Of those, the majority, 20,600 were for speeding. In second place were those not wearing a seatbelt a total of 2113.
Even more inconceivable is the high number of the drivers fined for carrying children without an adequate child restraining system, nothing less than 114. According to these DGT figures, traffic accidents are the primary cause of death in children in Spain. Not using a child restraining system or incorrect use exposes children at grave risk. Incomprehensibly it still happens in 40% of accidents in which a child is killed.
Another pending subject is the eradication of distractions while driving beginning with the cell phone. During the week of the campaign 1,230 drivers were fined for this type of infraction. Answering a call or sending a text while driving can have lethal consequences. Whilst driving it is important to avoid distraction and keep your attention on the road. Any of us travelling with children know that they can be distracting and how sometimes their behavior is unexpected. The adult must always carry the responsibility for any situation. That’s why it is important the teach them that while in the car they must remain calm and entertain themselves, and we, come what may, must stay calm so we can concentrate on the road.
Another common offence, not that it is less serious, is driving under the influence of drink or drugs. In seven days 1,193 drivers tested positive. As a society we must be much stricter about the fines for these offences or they should lose their license. We must understand how important this is and show zero tolerance for these dangerous practices.
At the MAPFRE FOUNDATION, we reaffirm our commitment to stamp out dangerous driving. The safety of everyone, without exception, is what matters.