Road accidents are animal tragic
Wild animals and wandering pets blamed for toll
WANDERING animals are increasingly the cause of road traffic accidents in Valencia and across Spain according to new figures released by the national traffic deaprtment (DGT)
Between 2012 and last year there were 4,700 reported accidents on the roads of the Valencia region involving animals – more than 800 a year – leaving 365 people injured, according to the DGT. Wild boar, deer, rabbits, hare, badgers, foxes, dogs and cats were said to be the cause of the crashes in the region as drivers brake or swerve in a bid to avoid a crash.
And across Spain the animals involved depends on habitat, the countrywide statistics also name rare brown bear, wolves, chamois, a mountain goat, wild cats and even the Iberian lynx.
The government data was supplied to the Valencia parliament at the request of three deputies. Nationally there were 120,500 accidents involving animals – injuring 3,710 people including 30 losing their lives but the statistics do not include either Catalonia or the Basque country as they compile figures in a different way.
It was revealed that across the three provinces of the region, Valencia has the worst record with over 2,000 accidents over the period with 167 people hurt; Alicante suffered 1,561 crashes and 135 people injured; and Castellon more than 1,000 accidents and 63 people injured.
Wild boar were said to be the mammal most to blame for causing accidents, followed by deer and stray dogs.
Both agricultural organisations and hunting groups in Valencia have warned of the increased numbers of boar in coastal areas – where they come closer to humans and the denser road network.
The figures show that spring and autumn are the worst seasons for road accidents involving animals; while the most dangerous times are from sunset through the hours of darkness.
The DGT figures said large animals were a problem because of their size but also warned that birds hitting vehicle windscreens caused accidents because of the shock of impact and a loss of visibility to drivers; while amphibians triggered a loss of grip to tyres when run over.