An accident on the Llucmajor motorway in December. | Vasil Vasilev

There were nine more fatalities on Balearic roads in 2016 than the previous year: the number went up from 39 to 48. Across the country, a percentage rise of 2.6% was well below the 23% in the Balearics. There were 29 more deaths, giving a total of 1,160. The rise reversed a downward trend since 2003: in that year there were a staggering 5,399 fatalities.

In giving his report today, Gregorio Serrano, the national director general of Trafico, said that almost half of all accidents were caused either by excessive speed or driver distraction. He pointed, however, to the influence of alcohol and drugs. Of over 3,000 tests for drugs on drivers involved in accidents, more than a quarter were positive, while almost two-thirds (over 2,000) were positive for drivers stopped for some form of traffic violation.

The percentages were far lower for alcohol, but the number of tests was much higher. There were some 5,000 positive tests out of over 110,000 for accidents and almost 4,300 positive tests for a total exceeding half a million violations.

Serrano noted that there were increases in fatalities among both the 45-64 and 15-24 age groups, while he said that the average age of cars involved in fatal accidents was 13.6.