N332 September 2017

Male drivers – Double the risk than women

A combined report between the Fundación Eduardo Barreiros and the Universidad Politécnica de Madrid (UPM) has concluded that men, behind the wheel, are double the risk than women.

The report presented an investigation on the differences in accidents and incidents involving men and women in Spain and was based on comparable ratios of the proportionality of the census of drivers, and based on the total population (using DGT and INE data).

For the preparation of the report, 200,000 claims produced over ten years have been analysed, revealing very significant differences in driving between men and women.

Women respect the norm more often, do not assume as many risky behaviours as men and that translates into fewer accidents and fewer victims. Therefore the mortality rate per million drivers is more than twice as high in men as in women. In addition, the injury caused by an accident involving one or two male drivers is also double. Men are also attributed to 44.5% more serious injuries.

The most frequent types of accidents in males are the knocking down, rollovers and frontal collisions, caused by hasty acceleration and lack of patience, enthused by speed. In women, distraction and not allowing a safety distance are more common. However, despite men taking more risks, they also perceive dangerous situations better. In general, they are in breach of speed limits and often permitted alcohol and drug rates. They are the ones who incur the most in voluntary imprudence. In the case of consumption of alcohol and/or narcotics, they even increase the risk fivefold over that posed by women.

Stricter ITV controls from 2018

The mandatory vehicle safety vest, the Inspección Técnica de Vehículos, or ITV, the Spanish equivalent to the MOT, will become much stricter from 2018, especially in elements relating to pollutant emissions, the devices intended to reduce them and also a large part of the security systems that are shipped and are controlled electronically.

The process started almost three years ago with the publication of the European directive 2014/45/UE, which the Spanish Government hopes to have transposed into legislation, via Royal Decree, before this summer, but it has been accelerated and reinforced as a result of the so-called 'dieselgate', the scandal surrounding Volkswagen, and the doubts that have awakened in the behaviour of other manufacturers.

Although the changes still have to overcome pitfalls, numerous security systems under electronic control will be reviewed, such as the stability programme, the airbags or the seatbelt pre-tensioners.
For these inspections to make sense, manufacturers must allow access to the vehicle's switchboard and share information about those systems.

New Rules for Pickup Trucks

New rules came into force in Spain in July.

Pickup vehicles are characterised, in the main, as being a vehicle that has an area on its body where merchandise can be carried, normally in an open top area. Pickup vehicles have been classified up to now as a type of commercial vehicle with four wheels or more, designed and constructed for the carriage of goods. The cab is not integrated in the rest of the bodywork and with a maximum of 9 seats, including the driver.

It is defined in the scope of the directive as: A vehicle whose maximum mass is not more than 3,500 kg, where the seating positions and the loading area are not located in a single compartment. From a technical point of view, the configuration, use and performance of a pickup vehicle are within the realm of those of a passenger vehicle and not those of a commercial vehicle.

Top 10 Tips for Driving in Spain

In Spain we drive on the right. It might seem like an obvious thing to say, but many people do forget. In fact, the law says we should drive as far to the right as possible, so don't go hogging lanes. Also, remember, we go anticlockwise on roundabouts.

Speed limits are a maximum, not a target and remember, they are kilometres per hour. Most signs are the same as in the UK, but a blue square is a recommended maximum.

All vehicle occupants must wear a seatbelt. If there are only 2 seatbelts in the back, only 2 people can sit there. Seatbelts must be worn properly too, not under the arm.

Children are not allowed to sit in the front seat. Children under 1.35 metres, irrespective of their age, must sit in the back. They must also be in an approved restraint suitable for them. The only exception is when there aren't any rear seats, like a sports car, or when the seats are already occupied by smaller children.

Spain has a much lower alcohol limit than many other countries. The best advice if you're driving is don't drink at all. The same applies to drugs, but if you're on prescription medication be careful as these can sometimes affect your driving.

Never use your mobile when driving. That goes for any device. You are allowed to use your phone as a GPS sat nav, but you mustn't touch it when you're driving. Programme it before you set off and stop in a safe, convenient and legal place if you have to change it.

Some traffic lights have filter arrows. If the light is red but the filter arrow pointing right is orange, you are allowed to turn right, just remember to give way to traffic already on the main road.

When exiting a roundabout, always exit from the right-hand lane, irrespective of how many lanes there are unless signs or signals say otherwise.

Traffic police vehicles have blue lights illuminated all the time. If you see these blue lights it doesn't mean pull over or stop. They use flashing red lights to stop you, or flashing white lights from the front.

If you get into difficulties or an emergency, dial 112 from any phone. The operators speak many languages, including English, and are there to help. Try to identify exactly where you are before you phone, as this will make it easier for help to find you.

Nothing to Hide, Nothing to Fear

After the Barcelona terrorist attack, now, more than ever, please don't use social medias to warn other drivers about our check points. You never know who is reading your info.

We keep working for your safety every day, 24 hours a day.