End of the year festivities: More than 50 traffic accidents occur a day in the capital, Villa Nueva and Mixco

Vehicle circulation increased this week due to the arrival of the Christmas holidays, as well as traffic accidents. In the municipalities of Guatemala, Villa Nueva and Mixco, more than fifty collisions, between minor and serious, are reported per day.

According to Amílcar Montejo, spokesman for the Capital Municipal Traffic Police (PMT), an approximate of 41 daily mishaps have occurred in the city since December 20. Prior to the payment of the bonus, 25 incidents were reported.

The areas with the most incidents are 1, 11 and 12, as well as 9, 10, 13 and 14, at points with commercial and entertainment areas.

Drunk driving is one of the causes of collisions, and this week 10 drivers have been identified under the influence of alcohol.

Accidents are also related to speeding, disrespect for the red light of the traffic light, the relationship of mixed traffic between heavy and light vehicles, and lastly, the inappropriate use of the traffic lanes.

Montejo indicated that yesterday, December 23, was the day with the highest vehicle load, with more than 1,150 thousand cars, with an average of 10 trips each within the city.

In Mixco, Roger Escalante, manager of Emixtra, refers that this week they have registered an approximate of eight daily collisions, with slight damages.

It is estimated that 400 thousand automobiles circulate daily in the municipality at this time, which complicates traffic. Roosevelt and San Juan roads, as well as the San Cristóbal boulevard sector, are the points with the highest vehicle load and where these accidents occur.

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While, in Villa Nueva there have been five daily collisions, most at night and the route to the Pacific is the most affected, according to Henry Quevedo, PMT spokesperson for the sector.

Impact on hospitals

Traffic accidents impact health services emergencies. The director of the Roosevelt Hospital, Marco Antonio Barrientos, says that for weeks the number of polytraumatized patients due to traffic accidents has increased.

They receive no fewer than 25 cases daily, and this keeps trauma and surgery emergencies saturated.

Although the admission of coronavirus positive patients has decreased, and the areas in which they were treated were vacated, currently these spaces are used to receive the injured, and they are not supplied.

Caring for these patients consumes more than 50 percent of the hospital’s budget, says Barrientos. Many cases require to be taken to the operating room, they spend time in critical and intensive areas, which entails a high expense.

A mild case can represent a cost of up to Q25 thousand if your stay is short, but if the condition is severe, becomes complicated and requires a major intervention and weeks of hospitalization, the sum can amount to Q200 thousand.

“What is congesting the hospital the most are the cases of multiple trauma, which have skyrocketed this year,” adds the director.

Affects the pocket

Driving under the influence of liquor causes accidents, and according to Montejo a fine of Q5 thousand can be imposed on the driver, and he must be transferred to a court. But, “the judge, within the range of powers, can set a fine of Q25 thousand and open a legal process against the license,” he indicates.

The person involved can spend several hours or days in the court tower as they resolve their case, he adds.

In addition, if you hit a conventional traffic light you will have to pay Q15 thousand for its repair, if it is a computerized one you will have to pay about Q25 thousand. When colliding with a concrete post, you must pay between Q15 thousand and Q25 thousand, but if it is one with high tension cables, it is between Q50 thousand and Q75 thousand, to which are added the repair costs of the vehicles involved, according to Montejo.


If you drink, do not drive, it is the main recommendation made by PMT spokespersons. They suggest that those who drink liquor during these end of the year parties take a taxi or designate someone else to drive the vehicle.

Be careful when driving and do not exceed speed, since, according to Escalante, when the road is clear, traffic accidents tend to be more impactful.

One option to avoid running into traffic when leaving home is to use mobile applications that indicate where traffic is more fluid or that show alternate routes. They also advise to be patient if you go in the queue of vehicles, and not to talk on your cell phone when driving.

Quevedo asks heavy transport “calm and caution, because they regularly exceed speed limits to reach their destination earlier.”

For his part, the director of the Roosevelt Hospital makes a call to avoid crowds and live together as a family, since it must not be forgotten that the covid-19 virus continues to spread among the population.

“The coexistence of groups leads us to a greater risk of being contaminated with coronavirus, and it is an exponential contagion,” says Barrientos, mainly because there is a large population that has not yet been vaccinated against covid-19, among them, children.


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