Andalucia has won the dubious crown of traffic accident king of Spain after recording the highest number of fatalities in the country in 2022, according to a new government report.
A total of 202 people died in traffic accidents in the southern autonomous community, making up nearly 18% of the 1,145 deaths in the country overall – up 4% on 2019, the year prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.
However, as Spain’s most populous region with 8.5 million people, it is entirely in line with Andalucia’s 18% of the population.
Spain’s second most populous region, Catalonia, also came in second, with 163 fatalities, or 14% of the total, but with 7.5 million residents it represents 16% of the country.
The Valencian Community came in third with 13% of car crash deaths (150) but only home to one in ten, and Madrid fourth with 12% of the total number of accidents (142) but nearly 14% of the population.
The regions with the lowest number of fatalities were the Balearic Islands (22), the Canary Islands (26) and Melilla (3).
Excessive speed was the biggest culprit for fatalities, responsible for 30% of accidents.
This was followed by lack of attention (20%), alcohol (16%), and disobedience to traffic signals (14%).
The figures were announced as part of the Spanish government’s provisional Accident Rate Report for 2022.
There was a change in trend in recent years of who was most likely to die in a traffic accident, with the number of vulnerable passenger fatalities down by 5% in 2022.
Meanwhile, the number of victims in tourist vehicles increased by 10%, with one in four tourists or people travelling in vans not wearing seat belts at the time of the accident.
The increase in traffic deaths is in line with an increase in the number of vehicles on the road, which is up by 3.6% compared to 2019, to 35.6 million.
The number of drivers increased by 0.82% to 27.5 million.
There was a further 3% rise in long-distance road journeys across Spain in the past year to nearly 440 million.
In total, 1,042 fatal accidents occurred on Spanish roads in 2022, leaving 4,008 people with serious injuries.
On the positive side, these figures represent a decrease of 10% in the number of serious injuries compared to 2019, the year prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.
During his presentation of the report, Spanish Interior Minister Fernando Grande-Marlaska stressed the need to “analyse the figures and continue working to address the causes, reduce fatalities, and also raise awareness among the public about the drama of traffic accidents and their painful consequences.”
He also thanked Spanish society as a whole for its road-conscious efforts in recent years, which have made Spain an international example of road safety, with statistics ‘significantly below’ the average of European Union countries.
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