The principal cause of child external deaths is still traffic accidents, which represents 33% of all deaths in children between 0 and 14 tears old during 2012 in Spain. This percentage shows a notable increase on 2011 when traffic accidents were responsible for 25% of all deaths.
The second highest cause of external death in children between 0 and 14 during 2012 was drowning, with 23% and then accidental falls, 7% and murders with 6%. In the case of murders, this shows a remarkable reduction when you look at 14% recorded in 2011, which was the highest for 20 years with 20 children having died this way.
Victims of road accidents
In 2012, the last year for which we have the available information, at total of 52 children between the ages of 0 and 14 died in Spain as a consequence of a road accident. This is an increase of 25% in fatalities over 2011, when 42 children died. However in relation to the number of children killed and seriously injured between 2011 and 2012, it shows a 15% reduction, going from 499 down to 425. The same is true if we look only at serious injuries, it is possible to show that they have been reduced by 18% between 2011 and 2012.
Most of the fatal road accidents involving children between 0 and 14 years old happen in cities. In 2012, 39 children died on the city (75%) and 13 children were killed on the highway (25%). However, 60% of serious injuries and 57% of minor injuries happened on urban roads.
Most of the children between 0 and 14 years old killed in road accidents during 2012 in Spain, were travelling in a car or a van. In total, 37 children in cars and 3 in vans. These figures indicate that in 2012 most of the victims of fatal accidents were travelling in a car or a van (77%). Due to these figures, children travelling in cars and vans should be a road safety priority.
Pedestrians are the second group that includes a lot of child fatalities, with 11 children killed in 2012. This is 21% of all children between 0 and 14 killed in road accidents in Spain during 2012. This added to the children killed in vans and cars come to 51; there was only one other fatal accident that involved a child riding with an adult on a motorbike.
We can confirm that during 2012, no child riding a bike, on a bus or in heavy goods vehicle was killed in a traffic accident in Spain.
And last of all, this year, 69% of the children killed in an urban area were pedestrians even though pedestrians only make up 5% of all road deaths. 4 children were killed in a car or a van in urban areas (31%), while 36 were killed on the highway in the same type of vehicles (92% of road deaths).
Developments between 1990-2012
During the last two decades, between 1990 and 2012, there has been a notable reduction in the number of children under 15 injured or killed in road accidents.
So the number of children between 0 and 14 killed in road accidents has gone down from 307 to 52, a fall of 83%. In the same way the total number of deaths and serious injuries has fallen from 2200 during the 90’s, to 425 in 2012, a fall of 81%.
The accumulated reduction in the number of children between 0 and 14 killed while travelling in a car or van is 78%, the accumulated reduction for pedestrians reached 88%, for motorbikes it was 91%, and children travelling by bus or moped or other vehicle, it was 100%, since there were no deaths at all in this group.
The reduction in the number of children between 0 and 14 killed in Spain in a road accident during the period mentioned is slightly higher on the highway, only showing a reduction of 84%, than in urban areas, reducing by 81%.
Lastly, between 1993 and 2012, the number of seriously injured as a consequence of a road accident has reduced by 80%, going from 1893 to 373 and the number of minor injuries went from 5708 to 4982, a reduction of 13%.
At the MAPFRE FOUNDATION we applaud this reduction in the number of fatalities or injuries in road accidents during the last 20 years, but let’s remember that although it may be difficult to achieve, we must keep working together to reduce this number to zero. Road safety is the responsibility of us all.