New statistics show that the chances of being involved in a traffic accident in Jalisco are significantly greater than in 2017.
But rather more people are dying from bullet wounds than from motor vehicle accidents.
According to a state police report, accidents spiked by 602% over the course of last year compared with 2017. In that year, police recorded 284 traffic accidents. In 2018, the number soared to 1,994.
According to Pedro Limón Covarrubias, a pavement and asphalt expert at the University of Guadalajara, one of the principal causes for the increase in accidents is the lack of maintenance on important highways in the state.
The professor said 16% of vehicle accidents are due to infrastructure, including road conditions and their design.
Infrastructure and Public Works Secretary David Zamora agreed. He told the state Congress last month that of 4,420 kilometers of highways, 1,547 were in critical need of repair, 1,989 were in normal to poor condition and only 884 kilometers were acceptable.
The municipality with the most accidents last year was Arandas, with 133. The most dangerous stretch of road was kilometer 314 of the Tepatitlán-León highway, with 56 accidents — up from 33 in 2017.
In second place, San Miguel El Alto registered 47 traffic accidents in 2018, 18 of which took place at kilometer 304 of the Jalostotitlán-San Diego Alejandría highway.
Limón said that a combination of heavy vehicular traffic and varying weather conditions cause the majority of potholes and cracks on state highways, for which he recommended regular preventative maintenance.
“With the studies that we have done, we have determined that preventative maintenance — not corrective maintenance — needs to be conducted every two to three years. [When they conduct] corrective maintenance, we are talking about a road that shows a lot of serious damage, and that is why we need rigorous maintenance.”
Meanwhile, the state’s Forensic Science Institute said firearms killed more people than either traffic accidents or various illnesses during the first three months of the year.
There were 469 people killed in gunfire, 189 in motor vehicle accidents and 178 by heart attacks, pulmonary edema and other ailments.