Traffic accidents do not stop increasing. So far this year alone, more than 400 people have lost their lives on the roads. The previous year ended with 870 fatalities, the highest figure in two years. This Monday the General Directorate of Traffic will take stock of the accident rate on the roads during this weekend, but the figures for 2021 are historical.
The lifting of the state of alarm and with it the end of mobility restrictions has led to a logical increase in mobility that has also resulted in an increase in the number of accidents. To this is added that, according to experts, the forecasts for the summer are not good and the most vulnerable group together with pedestrians are motorists.
Accidents on the rise due to the pandemic
This weekend alone, eight motorists have lost their lives in different accidents and the president of the Accident Victims Association, Paco Canes, warns of its dangerousness. “The motorcycle allows us to carry out maneuvers that are sometimes too risky and what we are not aware of is the vulnerability that riding a motorcycle represents. Therefore, it has a special latent danger and we must adapt driving to that danger that exists”, points out.
From the Association they believe the high number of accidents in which motorcycles are involved is also due to a lack of expertise. After months of hardly being able to move, the feeling that society has is that freedom has been regained. “It is as if we had a tendency to make up for lost time by making relatively long trips very quickly, with little preparation, with a lot of desire to reach the destination and to take advantage of the time that we believe we have not had due to the pandemic,” says the Professor of Road Safety, Luis Montoro.
“More psychotropics are being consumed”
The rush to reach the destination leads to an increase in speed, a factor that influences traffic accidents. Montoro assures that we drive as we live, and the pandemic has aggravated the emotional problems of drivers. We are more aggressive, we are more distracted at the wheel and we suffer from insomnia and anxiety. “We know that people are drinking more, they are consuming more drugs and, as a consequence, the psychological state. They consume more anxiolytics, hypnotics and antidepressants, the psychotropic drugs that have exploded,” says Montoro.
Another factor that we must add is the loss of practice. We have spent months with hardly driving, or making short trips. Montoro differentiates an important fact: many people who had not taken a car or motorcycle for years have now done so again for fear of catching it on public transport. In addition, having been confined for many months, vision has been affected by consuming a lot of screen. Some kind of untraining. “We have gone less into very open spaces and therefore, we have had a short distance vision, television, computer and the more distant vision that is essential to avoid the accident by anticipation is lost a lot because the eye is untrained,” he explains .
“Mobility is going to increase dramatically”
Road safety specialists had never faced a situation like the current one, but they point to an increase in accidents on the roads. “Above all, and especially on weekends, where, as I say, mobility is going to increase dramatically. People want to go out and make trips in a short time,” concludes Montoro.
The pandemic, anxiety, economic problems influence because society seeks to escape. Therefore, the main recommendation is to enjoy the trips and not be in a hurry to reach our destination.