Publication: Victims crossing overflowing watercourses with vehicles in Spain
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Heavy rainfall causes many watercourses to overflow. In these circumstances, crossing by car even on a road, can be extremely dangerous; however, dozens of drivers are swept away every year in their vehicles. This paper analyses this type of accident in Spain between 2008 and 2018, recording the date, location, number of victims, age and gender, and rainfall during the event. The results show that 125 accidents occurred with 200 victims including 45 fatalities. Most accidents occurred in E, S and SE Spain, where the rainfall irregularity is greater, during December, October and March, although fatalities were concentrated in September and October. Among the victims male drivers dominated, with an average age of 52 years. The main cause of these accidents was the drivers' behaviour due to: underestimating risk, overconfidence, overvaluation of their driving skills, an excess of trust in the authorities, ignorance about vehicle drag and buoyancy risks, and, social pressure. To reduce these risks, it is necessary to increase adaptation and protection measures on roads, but above all, a change in drivers' behaviour to stop them trying to cross‐flooded rivers.