Child road accident rates in recent years are very different from those recorded two decades ago in Spain. While in 1999, 203 children between the ages of 0 and 14 died on the roads in Spain, 2019 ended with 32 fatal accidents involving children in this age group. In the last 20 years the rate has gone down by 84%. If we take into account the last 10 years, the rate has decreased 46%. In 2009, a total of 60 children died in traffic accidents. The trend is downward. However, there has been an upturn of 2% in the last year.
Although in general terms it can be said that the number of child road accidents decreases year after year, some years register a upward trend. This is the case for 2019, the last year with consolidated data. During this year, 32 children aged 14 or less, lost their lives in a traffic accidents while last year the figure was 25, which is an increase of 7 more fatal accidents.
Firstly, we must bear in mind that many of these traffic accidents are avoidable and we must emphasize, once again, the importance of using a properly approved child restraint system adapted to the height and weight of the child. Not just any car seat will do, as it could be less effective.
In this table, drawn up by Fundación MAPFRE with data from the Directorate General of Traffic (DGT), we can see how child road accident rates have evolved since 1990.
This other table shows the evolution of deaths and serious injuries from 0 to 14 years old in traffic accidents. It should be noted we currently do not have data regarding serious injuries, so we cannot add these up:
Although the number of people who died in 2019 has decreased by 3% in general terms compared to 2018, this figure does not apply to all age groups. As previously mentioned, there has been an increase in children's road accidents this year.
Children aged 0 to 14 accounted for 1.82% of deaths in 2019. In particular, 32.
If we analyze by type of road, 22 children died on intercity roads, 2% more than in 2018. By this date 14 children had died in traffic accidents. On city roads 10 children lost their lives, 2% more than in 2018, which registered 11 fatalities of children aged 14 or less.
Regarding children who were pedestrians at the time of the accident, 12 lost their lives in 2019, while in the previous year there were 11. It should be noted that three of these fatalities were on intercity roads and nine in the city, as reported by the Directorate General of Traffic with consolidated information on both intercity and city roads 30 days after the accident.
All this points to the need to stay alert to children's road safety. Work must continue until the 'Goal Zero' is reached, so that no child loses his or her life on the road, especially by not wearing a child restraint system. Let us point out that the use of car seats reduces deaths by 75% and traffic accident injuries by 90%.