Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Tráfico.- Un total de 27 personas fallecen en las carreteras en el segundo fin de semana de julio, 17 menos que en 2005


A Total of 27 people died on Spanish roads this last weekend in July, 17 less than at the same time last year, when 44 died - the worst weekend in 2005 according to DGT (tráfico).

During the whole week (3-9 July) there were 51 fatalities.

What cannot be determined at this stage is why the figures are (thankfully) much lower this year. Possibly the new driving licence system. Possibly increased Guardia Civil presence on the roads. Possibly less traffic density.

Given that on average, someone died on Spanish roads every 90 minutes last year, any improvement is welcome.


Grumpy Goat said...

The fatality rates on Spanish roads make some scary reading. The quoted figure of one fatality every 90 minutes works up to nearly 6000 deaths per year, or 13.5 per 100,000 population.

To get this into proportion, check out the Accident Facts report for 2002 prepared by Dubai Police. It may be downloaded from here by clicking on 'Traffic Safety' and then 'Statistics' in the panel on the left. There's a lot of stuff in that report about the demographics and types of accident, but page 40 et seq have some interesting comparisons:

UK fatality rate - 6.0 per 100,000 population
France - 13.6
Dubai (everyone) - 18.9
UAE as a whole - 21.0
Saudi Arabia - 30.0
Dubai (nationals only) - 32.5

There is a very high level of car ownership in the UAE. Compare the rates by vehicle registrations:

UK fatality rate - 1.4 per 10,000 vehicles
USA - 1.9
France - 3.3
UAE - 12.7

Presumably Spain scores similarly to France?

Some of the foregoing is up to six years out of date, and my information is highly selective. For additional information read the whole report.

And my point is?

My point is that in countries where traffic laws are generally respected; where there is a credible chance of being caught and prosecuted for driving like a moron, fatal accident rates appear to be lower.

Human nature seems to be that everyone behaves as badly as they think they can get away with. In the UAE there is a very real belief (whether or not it be borne out in fact) that traffic rules are for everyone else, and because my brother-in-law is a personal friend of the Police Chief all my speed camera incidents will get deleted.

I blogged about this here.

There is also the oft-quoted principle that in the developing world, drivers are 'first generation'. Their parents rode donkeys or camels. Therefore they are culturally unaware of the demands of motoring law. They break the rules because they don't know any better. If this be the case, why do these same drivers miraculously behave themselves the moment a police officer is prominently in evidence with his notebook at the ready? Drivers do know the rules, and choose to break them whenever they think they won't get caught.

El Casareño Ingles said...

The statistics I base my reports from comes from CARE - http://ec.europa.eu/transport/care/index_en.htm. It seems that Dubai uses other statistics since the EU accident rates per million population areas follows (2004): Malta (lowest) - 33
Lithuania (highest) - 216
Spain - 113
EU-25 average - 95
France now has a rate under the average (93) whereas Spain's figures were comparable to France for many years until 2004.

Accident severity (your chance of being killed in an accident that actually happens to you) also makes interesting reading as follows:
UK (lowest) - 1.6%
Greece (highest) 9.7%
Spain - 5.4%
EU-15 average - 3.1%

I agree that detection is a deterrent, just like any other crime. If you think you´ll be caught you generally behave.

I note the comment from Didaxis on your blog about 'offensive' driving. I prefer the term 'assertive' here in Spain. Defensive driving certainly seems to confuse other road users.

In general, Spain's road safety is improving. The worrying trend is the increasing numbers of young drivers killed, who it transpires, were under the influence of drugs at the time. For this at the moment, there seems little chance of detection before the event.

El Casareño Ingles said...

PS: The press source quoting one fatalitiy per 90 minutes is wrong - It's one per 1h50min on 2004 figures (4,749 for the year).