The average age of the vehicles in which the fatal victims of interurban road accidents were traveling in 2018 was 13 years in tourism, 9.7 years by motorcycle and 14.6 years in the case of trucks up to 3,500 kg.

This situation worries the General direction of traffic, which is why the annual calendar of campaigns includes one dedicated exclusively to the monitoring of the conditions of vehicles on roads. This new campaign will take place from today Monday and will last until Sunday, November 17.

During this week, the agents of the Traffic Association of the Civil Guard and the rest of local and regional police who join the campaign will pay special attention to the proper maintenance and tuning of all the vehicle's security elements: tires, brakes, lights, signaling, windshield without damage …

Relationship between risk and seniority

According to the latest study conducted by Traffic, the risk of death or serious injury is multiplied by two when comparing accidents with vehicles 10 to 15 years old, in relation to vehicles less than 5 years old.

Taking into account this relationship between risk and age of the vehicle, the proper maintenance of all safety elements become an essential activity to combat accidents.


The tires constitute the only and decisive contact with the road. They are responsible for ensuring adherence in thrust, braking and lateral sliding. They also ensure that the direction of vehicle travel is as desired by the user and the damping of pavement imperfections. It is recommended that the groove depth be at least 3 millimeters. The legal limit is 1.6 millimeters

Approximately more than one million of the vehicles, 5%, circulate with serious defects in the wheels, mainly due to a drawing depth below the legal minimum of 1.6 mm; have irregular wear due to bad suspension or incorrect alignment and circulate with wrong pressure.

In addition, vehicles related to more professional use, such as vans, have higher rates of tire defects.

It is also necessary to regularly check the cold tire pressure and the spare wheel, as well as check for possible air leaks from the valves. The cap of the same constitutes an element of sealing, so its use is essential.

Lighting and signaling

The purpose of vehicle lights is not only to see, but also to be seen, since each vehicle in circulation is, in practice, an obstacle for others, so the definition of its presence is also significant.

So that the driving is carried out in safety conditions, it is advisable to pay special attention to the use, maintenance and regulation of the headlights, to achieve, on the one hand, having sufficient light and, on the other, not dazzle who circulates through The same public roads.

You have to keep in mind some basic tips:

  • The lamps reduce their intensity with use, so they must be changed every 40,000 km. or 2 years
  • The lamps must be changed two by two, because their use is symmetrical in most cases.
  • It is necessary to always keep the optics clean: headlights and pilots

The mandatory use of lighting is set forth in article 43 of the Traffic and Road Safety Law:

1.- Vehicles that circulate between sunset and sunrise, or at any time of day in the tunnels, underpasses and road sections affected by the "tunnel" signal, must carry on the corresponding lighting.

2.- They must also carry the lighting during the rest of the day:

a) Motorcycles that circulate in any way that is the object of this law.

b) All vehicles that circulate in a reversible lane or in the opposite direction to the one normally used in the road where it is located, either a lane that is exclusively reserved or exceptionally open in that direction.

3.- It is also mandatory to use the lighting that is established by regulation when there are meteorological or environmental conditions that significantly reduce visibility, such as in case of fog, heavy rain, snowfall, clouds of smoke or dust or any other similar circumstance.

4.- The bicycles, in addition, will be equipped with the reflective elements that, duly approved, are determined in the General Vehicle Regulations. When the use of lighting is obligatory, the bicycle drivers will also wear a reflective garment if they are traveling interurban. "

Other aspects to control

In addition to lights and tires, the following will also be controlled:

• The license plate: The driver must verify that the license plates of the vehicle do not present obstacles that impede or hinder their reading and identification, are not damaged or tampered with.

Carrying the illegible registration is a serious infraction with a sanction of 200 euros and no deduction of points, but manipulating the registration plate to try to evade the rule fraudulently can lead to a fine of 6,000 euros and the loss of 6 points.

• Windshield: The driver must verify that the windshield does not show any damage, since it is a fundamental part in the structural resistance of the vehicle, in the efficiency of the airbag and in the support of cameras and sensors of driving assistance devices .

• The documentation of the vehicle that must be carried, in addition to the mandatory driving license is:

– Vehicle traffic permit containing the technical data of the vehicle and the data of its owner (or an authorization from the Traffic Department in his absence).

– ITV card and corresponding sticker, visible on the front moon.

Technical inspection of vehicles

The correct maintenance of a vehicle contributes decisively to ensure adequate safety conditions throughout its useful life. These safety conditions are periodically verified in the technical inspections.

In 2018, the percentage of vehicles involved in accidents with victims, on interurban roads, with inspection expired at the time of the accident, ranges from 3%, on buses, 5% on tourism, 7% on motorcycles, 9% in vans and 10% on trucks up to 3,500kg.

The Spanish Vehicle Inspection (ITV) stations carried out the review of 25.3 million vehicles during 2018. Of the total number of vehicles inspected, more than 4 million did not exceed the first mandatory inspection (16,13 % of the total), which means that almost one in six vehicles was rejected for not meeting the minimum safety conditions or for emitting pollutant and harmful emissions into the atmosphere higher than allowed by law. This rejection rate is due to the fact that during the inspections 33.4 million defects were detected, of which 7.9 were serious (those that automatically prevent a vehicle from passing the technical inspection).

The most common serious defects were lighting and signaling (24.1%); axles, tires and suspensions (21.7%); those related to brakes (14.7%) and excess pollutant emissions (13.3%).

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