Traffic accidents kill 1.2 million people annually in the world and are the second leading cause of death among people aged 5–29, according to a joint WHO/World Bank report launched today. The theme of this year’s World Health Day is Road Safety and today around the globe, hundreds of organizations will host events to help raise awareness about road traffic injuries, their grave consequences and enormous costs to society.
Road safety is a big big problem in Spain. According to estimates from the DGT – National Traffic Directorate , accidents cost Spain about 9.000.000.000 Euros every year. Last year alone, 4.032 people were killed outright in a traffic accident, 2061 were seriously injured and 1.967 suffered light injuries (see this Cadena Ser article).
Reasons behind the high rate of traffic accidents in Spain include:
The bad state of many roads,
Drinking and driving (according to this El Mundo article, 4 out of every 10 people killed in a road accident in Spain in 2002 had exceeded the legal limit of alcohol)
Congested roads – just this Easter weekend the DGT expects 23 million cars with holidaymakers on Spanish roads.
This month the DGT have launched a campaign with some very violent images designed to shock Spaniards into complying with basic safety rules on the roads. In an attempt to reduce traffic accidents in Spain this year by increasing awareness, the advertising campaign uses images to describe what awful consequences failure to respect basic norms (such as using safety belts, speed limits, using a helmet on a motorbike and making sure children are strapped into their seats.
.) can have.