19 February 2004
MADRID – Traffic deaths could be halved if a new a new emergency system was used throughout Spain, a report claims Thursday.
The RACC Automobile Club claims that the chances of dying in a car crash is “higher in Spain than anywhere else in Europe”.
According to their study, 28 people are killed for every billion kilometres covered by drivers in Spain – 15 more than anywhere else in Europe.
The study has analyzed emergency systems in other countries, particularly in Germany.
In these countries so-called “intelligent” emergency systems, which were introduced in the 1970s, have cut the number of mortalities on the roads by 60 percent, the report says.
The study found that in 66 percent of cases, people died in the first few minutes after the crash.
It said that correct medical attention would reduce deaths by 11 percent and serious injuries which result in disabilities by 12 percent.
Meanwhile, in Spain, in 3.5 percent of cases, people are killed on the roads – while the proportion in the rest of Europe is 2.2 percent. In Germany the figure is only 1.8 percent and in Britain only 1 percent.
Other statistics showed that in Spain one person dies for every 18 people injured.
In Germany, there was one fatality for every 52, and in Britain a fatality for every 66 injured. The European average was one death for every 31 accidents.
The RACC said in many European countries there is a law which states the time that the emergency services have to reach the injured.
In Germany it is 12 minutes, in Britain, eight minutes and in Denmark it is five.
But in Spain, there is no legislation in this respect.
The RACC said the question of stopping crashes on the roads has to be addressed by the government in order not just to reduce accidents but to “save human lives”.
The RACC wants an emergency service like the type which exists in Barcelona and Madrid to be extended to all Spain.
It also called for better coordination between different bodies dealing with road accidents.
[Copyright EFE with Expatica]
Subject: Spanish news