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Spain sees summer road deaths fall 12%

Author:   |  September 21st, 2017

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31 fewer people died on Spain's roads over the summer compared to last year - an encouraging statistic.

31 fewer people died on Spain’s roads over the summer compared to last year – an encouraging statistic.

Thanks to the country’s stunning scenery, pleasant climate, and propensity for laying winding roads across even the most undulating and cliff-hugging terrain imaginable, driving in Spain is often a spectacular experience

Driving habits in Spain have been described as a reflection of the national psyche. If British drivers are polite and patient but prone to inexplicable outbursts of road rage, then perhaps it is also fair to say that Spanish drivers tend to take to the roads in a passionate fashion, and are unafraid to let their emotions show.

In truth, of course, there are good and bad drivers to be found everywhere, and Spain is no exception. As EU money has modernised its road network, and German and Japanese engineering has made cars safer than ever before, the number of road deaths in Spain have begun to fall dramatically.

The latest data from the Directorate General of Traffic (DGT) in Spain shows that summer road deaths this year are down 12% on the same period in 2016 – which is yet another encouraging sign that Spain’s roads are increasingly safe places to be.

The data showed that there were 224 road deaths in July and August this year, which is 31 fewer than in 2016 over the same period. And although that figure is still quite high in EU terms (the UK, Denmark and Germany lead the way for the safest roads statistically), it actually represents a vast improvement in the space of a year, particularly since the number of journeys carried out in Spain over the summer – 87.6 million – was an increase of 3% on last year.

By region, most parts of central and northern Spain saw a reduction in fatalities, as did the Balearic islands.

Andalucía, however, actually recorded 38 road deaths this summer – up from 35 last year. The region’s popularity with holidaymakers from all over the world, many of whom jump behind the wheel of a car the moment they leave Málaga Airport, means that the authorities have an extremely difficult job in bringing down road deaths to a more acceptable level.

The same is true of Catalonia, where Barcelona’s perpetual popularity can partly explain why there were 15 more road deaths this summer than last summer.

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