A BIG weekend getaway started on Friday with 8.5 million car journeys predicted by Spain’s DGT traffic authority over the next five days.

Tuesday is a national bank holiday commemorating the Assumption of the Virgin Mary and it means that many people will take Monday off as well to create a long weekend.

Roads to coastal areas are expected to be especially busy in addition to shorter trips among communities that are hosting fiestas.

August is always the busiest month of the year on Spain’s roads with the DGT estimating over 49 million journeys over the summer period.

The DGT has once emphasised motorists not to drive under the influence of alcohol and drugs, and a special Guardia Civil campaign starts on Monday on roads and urban centres to ensure that nobody is behind the wheel when ‘over the limit’.

More than half(51.9%) of drivers who have died in traffic accidents so far this year tested positive for alcohol and drugs according to the National Institute of Toxicology.

Up to August 10, 658 people have lost their lives on the road so far this year which is 4% less than during the same period in 2022.

115 died in traffic accidents in July- 15 down on last year.

Summer is the most dangerous time to drive due to a combination of traffic density, reckless drivers, and fatigue due to long journeys.

A study from the Linea Directa Foundation says that five people die every day of the summer in road accidents- 20.5% more than in non-holiday periods and significantly higher than that of other holidays across the year.

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