QCOSTARICA – Traffic accident statistics reveal a growth, some even calling a pandemic on the roads.
A report from the Universidad Hispanoamericana (UH) revealed that in the last 32 years more than 20,000 people died in traffic accidents.
According to this report, in the last two years, the coastal provinces of Limón, Puntarenas, and Guanacaste had the highest mortality rates on the road. Limón alone registered a rate of 133.34 deaths per million inhabitants.
“The mortality rates on the site tell us that, in 2021, Limón led with 133.34 deaths per million inhabitants. They are followed by Puntarenas (124.82) and Guanacaste (110.2),” the report cites.
The World Health Organization (WHO) classifies traffic accidents as a silent epidemic that claims the lives of 1.3 million people a year.
Ronald Evans, epidemiologist and coordinator of this study, explained that the period from 2016 to 2019 registered the highest mortality figures between 817 and 899 annual deaths. While, between 2020 and 2021, as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, there was a decrease in deaths. However, with the lifting fo the driving restrictions, the death rate went back up.
Men monopolize the statistics in deaths from traffic accidents. Evans indicated that in the last four years 85% of fatal traffic accident victims were men. In 2021, the difference was even greater, because the figure reached 6.21 men who died for each woman.
The study noted that those between the ages of 20 and 39 have the highest number of deaths on the road. Motorcyclists lead the statistics with the most number of deaths on the roads, followed by pedestrians. In third spot are occupants of vehicles (drivers and passengers).
Alexander Solano, director of the Traffic Police, blamed road conditions as one of the causes, and acknowledged that the road network is far behind compared to other countries.
According to the Policia de Transito (Traffic Police), Saturdays and Sundays are the days with the most traffic accidents, in the time slot between 6 pm and 12 midnight.
This year, as of June, there were 236 deaths on the roads. However, this figure is an underreporting, since it only includes deaths occurring at the scene of the accident, not taking into account deaths in medical centers.