DGT: Animals Were Involved In Over 35,000 Road Accidents

DGT Release Accident Figures Involving Animals

Dogs running loose on a busy highway. Credit: DGT.es

FIGURES released today by the Spanish traffic authority revealed that in 2022 there were 35,661 road accidents in which animals were involved.

On Tuesday, December 19, The DGT published a report that detailed that wild boar was the animal involved in the highest number of accidents with victims at 40 per cent, ahead of dogs and roe deer.

The Statistics

In Spain, in 2022, there were 35,661 accidents in which animals were involved. Of that number, 505 involved human victims, in which 2 people died. Another 35 people suffered injuries which required hospitalisation in addition to 637 non-hospitalised injuries with different degrees of severity.

According to Jose Miguel Tolosa, Provincial Head of Traffic of Cantabria of the DGT, accidents with animals are an issue that worries the DGT, since in some provinces accidents involving animals represent 60 per cent of the total number of road accidents.

According to the report, the autonomous communities that register the highest number of accidents with victims involving animals are Andalusia and Castilla y Leon.

Preventative Measures

Can innovative measures reduce road accidents involving animals? Authorities and road management organisations are actively implementing various strategies to diminish accidents caused by animal crossings.

In recent years, a range of techniques has been employed to guide animal movements and enhance driver safety.

Effective Animal Movement Management

The use of resins and compounds either attracts or repels wildlife, guiding them towards safe passages and away from roads. This approach helps in directing animal movements effectively, ensuring they do not venture onto traffic routes.

Visibility Enhancement Techniques

Regular maintenance activities like mowing, cleaning, and clearing ditches are crucial. They not only increase the driver’s field of vision but also prevent small animals from inhabiting these areas, which might attract larger predators and pose a risk to motorists.

Innovative Barrier Solutions

Physical barriers and modern ‘virtual’ fences, employing lights, sounds, or ultrasound, effectively prevent animals from accessing roads. These advanced solutions create a safe boundary between wildlife and vehicular paths.

Vehicle Safety Enhancements

The installation of scare whistles in vehicles is another measure being adopted. These devices emit sounds that alert and deter animals from approaching the road.

Improved Road Signage

Enhanced vertical road signs, specifically the P-24 signs indicating free animal crossings, now include flashing red lights. This addition significantly increases their visibility, alerting drivers to potential animal crossings.

Despite these measures, drivers should remain vigilant in areas which are known for animal crossings. Some techniques include sticking to the designated speed limit which is often reduced in such areas for added safety.

In the unfortunate event of an unavoidable impact, avoid swerving. Instead, brake firmly but release the brake at the last moment. This action reduces the risk of the animal being propelled into the windshield, thus safeguarding the vehicle’s occupants.

Implementing these strategies and following recommended driving practices can significantly reduce the risk of accidents involving wildlife, ensuring safer roads for all.

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Written by

John Ensor

Originally from Doncaster, Yorkshire, John now lives in Galicia, Northern Spain with his wife Nina. He is passionate about news, music, cycling and animals.