Road ac­ci­dents are an­i­mal tragic

Wild an­i­mals and wan­der­ing pets blamed for toll

Costa Blanca News (North Edition) - - NEWS - By Jack Troughton jtroughton@cb­

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.

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