2020, the year of the pandemic, has been a negative year for road accidents, according to a study of the accident data carried out by the insurer Línea Directa in collaboration with INTRAS.
Although last year the number of traffic accidents reached historical lows, 870 deaths (24-hour count), the insurer has calculated what this figure would have been from the point of view of normal mobility without restrictions.
“In relative terms, the data is not so positive. In relation to mobility, 2020 has been the worst year of the decade in the field of road safety. If we take into account mobility and the evolution of accidents in Spain, in 2020, 128 more people have died than should have been registered,” explains Mar Garre, general director of the Línea Directa Foundation.
Fundación Línea Directa has carried out 1,700 surveys of drivers in which it has detected that during the confinement at the beginning of this year (from March to June), speeding increased by 39% and that in 36% of accidents the victims were not wearing seat belts.
Likewise, 20% of those surveyed admit to currently consuming more alcohol, drugs and medication and one in five considers themselves a worse driver after confinement.
In addition, 60% are critical of the mobility restrictions that we have experienced in 2020 and 2021 and 24% acknowledge having skipped them on some occasion.
1,100 dead in 2021
Following the current trend, the study makes a forecast on the accident rate and calculates that we could reach the figure of 1,100 deaths on the roads in 2021. And it points out the causes that could lead to this upswing in the accident rate.
“The current situation is marked by tension and exhaustion. The relaxation in the use of the seat belt, the increase in speeding and the consumption of alcohol, drugs and medicines and the loss of skills due to inactivity during confinement can trigger the figures at 2019 levels, with the aggravation of being produced with 25% less mobility. We have relaxed, and driving is always a danger,” says Mar Garre.
With these forecasts, the study authors warn about the need to change the current trend in road accidents.
“If we are not aware, 2021 will be worse because a general increase in mobility of 30% is expected, with 416 million long-distance trips, drivers will drive their car much more than before the pandemic and 71 % of those who travel in summer will do so by car”.
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