The Directorate General of Traffic (DGT) has published the road accident data for 2016. We are, of course, talking about information based on the 24 hours post-accident and only on intercity highways, and so what needs to be added subsequently is information regarding traffic accident victims 30 days post-accident and accidents that happen within the city. In this respect, and despite running numerous awareness campaigns, three of the sixteen children killed in traffic accidents on intercity highways in 2016 were still traveling without any form of safety accessory such as a child seat to minimize the consequences of the incident.
2016 finished up with a bad record: 1,038 fatal accidents on intercity highways (up 1.4%, 15 more accidents) in which 1,160 people died (up 2.6% , which means 29 more deaths) and a further 5,067 needed hospital treatment as a result of injuries suffered (209 more injured people than the previous year, an increase of 4.3%).
With regard to ages, 19 of the deaths were children under 14, 2% of the total. The highest percentage death rate was in the 45 to 54 age range with 225 fatal victims, 19% of the total. Fatalities in 35 to 44 year-olds represented 19% (216); while 25 to 34 year-olds accounted for 14% of the total with 165 deaths.
The data shows that there are still many who do not make use of seat belts, something fundamental if we wish to lead by example. If neither the driver nor passenger make use of this essential safety device, it will also be complicated to get them to ensure their children are strapped into the appropriate CRS or that they instill in them the correct road safety values.
Thus, for example, 22% of drivers and passengers killed in cars and vans in 2016 were not wearing seat belts. In fact, the number of fatalities among those not wearing this essential safety device tripled to 129. In the case of vans, deaths among those not wearing seat belts dropped to 18 (there were 24 in 2015).
Distraction, inappropriate speed, alcohol and/or drug consumption and not yielding right of way are among the main traffic violations in these fatal or serious accidents.
In 2015, a total of 25 children under the age of 14 died as a result of traffic accidents in Spain. In this case data from 30 days post-accident and urban thoroughfares is taken into account. This time, a drop of 32% in the traffic accident rate involving children was achieved compared to 2014, a year which ended with 37 children killed on the the highways as detailed in the 'Fundación MAPFRE 2016 Dossier on Child Road Safety in Cars in Spain and Latin America: Child Restraint Systems’ and the article ‘How have child road accident rates and the use of CRS evolved in recent years in Spain?’. Will the reduction achieved have been continued into 2016?