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Road deaths in Spain fall to a historic low in August

But officials warn about the importance of preventing drunk driving, which still accounts for many fatalities

A traffic accident in Siero (Asturias) in August.
A traffic accident in Siero (Asturias) in August. SEPA

The figures are never good, only less bad. A total of 220 people died in traffic accidents during the months of July and August in Spain, the lowest figure on record.

Last month the number of fatalities was 101, making it the least deadly month of August since 1993.

The statistics were released by Interior Minister Fernando Grande-Marlaska during a review of the measures that were rolled out this summer to ensure road safety,

Spain's Interior Minister Fernando Grande-Marlaska is still concerned about drunk driving in Spain.
Spain's Interior Minister Fernando Grande-Marlaska is still concerned about drunk driving in Spain. REUTERS

The low fatality figure for August is particularly relevant, as it is the month of the year when most travel takes place: 47.8 million people were on the road, according to the DGT national traffic authority.

Even so, Grande-Marlaska warned of the need to keep raising awareness about the dangers of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. The minister noted that in 2018, many of the people who died in traffic accidents had a high blood alcohol level. “It’s not about having one drink too many. Every single drink is one too many,” he said.

This summer, traffic authorities rolled out 28 new radars and conducted 1.1 million alcohol breath tests.

The most dangerous roadways continue to be conventional two-lane roads, where 70% of deadly accidents (154) have taken place even though the speed limit was reduced from 100km/h to 90km/h in January.

Pedestrians, cyclists and motorcycle riders remain the most vulnerable groups, representing four out of every 10 deaths in July and August.

English version by Susana Urra.

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