Federal highway No. 80 in Jalisco has been deemed the state’s most dangerous after registering the highest number of fatalities in 2016.
Nearly one-quarter of all deaths — 61 out of 256 — caused by traffic accidents on the state’s federal highways have occurred on No. 80, between Lagos de Moreno and Guadalajara and Santa Cruz de las Flores and Melaque.
According to the federal Secretariat of Communications and Transportation, 91% of accidents on the two-lane road were caused by the motorists themselves, while the remaining 9% were the result of mechanical failure, road conditions, pedestrians, natural phenomena and livestock.
Motorist Sergio Hernández uses it frequently, and his assessment differs from the official one.
He told the newspaper El Informador that he uses the highway every 10 days, and every third trip, on average, he witnesses an accident. The last one was a head-on collision between two vehicles.
“The road is too narrow, with very dangerous bends. Driving is very uncomfortable there because of that and the number of vehicles that use it. It’s always saturated,” he said.
There are only two stretches, between Lagos de Moreno and El Desperdicio and between Zapotlanejo and Guadalajara, where driving is not so perilous, but the asphalt on the latter has now started to deteriorate.
He also said it was common to see people walking or riding their bicycles on the road in religious caravans, especially on Saturdays. “There have been several fatal accidents involving pilgrims.”
A unit chief from an SCT state office explained that speed, the width of the road and the curves are determining factors behind the high number of crashes.
According to official nomenclature, the road is considered type C, or one with only two “reduced” lanes. The maximum speed, said Delfino Jesús Saldaña, given its characteristics, is 80 kilometers per hour.
He added that there is insurance to which motorists are entitled if they suffer an accident caused by road conditions, “but too few request it.” It was estimated that property damage caused by accidents during 2016 rose to 66 million pesos (US $3.5 million).
Source: El Informador (sp)