Has there been a drop in the number of child fatalities in traffic accidents in the last 20 years? Are child restraint systems being used to a greater extent to tackle the curse of traffic accidents? At the start of a new year (2017), the Children's Road Safety section of the Accident Prevention and Road Safety department of Fundación MAPFRE wants to examine what has been achieved in recent years in the hope of looking forward to 2017 with a sense of optimism and to tackle the challenge of achieving "Goal Zero" child fatalities on the roads.
In 2015, a total of 25 children under the age of 14 died as a result of traffic accidents in Spain. However, this was 32 percent lower than in 2014, which ended with 37 child road accident fatalities.
If we take the number of serious injuries into account as well as fatalities, the figure for 2015 rises to 380 children. In 2014 there were 388 victims in this age group, including both fatalities or serious injuries, so in this case too are looking at a drop in numbers, though by just 2 percent.
This shows that it is still possible to reduce this figure further. As shown in the Fundación MAPFRE 2016 Dossier on Child Road Safety in Cars in Spain and Latin America: Child Seats, in the last two decades (between 1990 and 2015), the number of children under the age of 14 who died as a result of traffic accidents fell from 307 to 25. This implies a drop of 92 percent. In other words, for every ten children who lost their lives in traffic accidents in Spain in 1990, only one child loses their life today. Taking fatalities and serious injuries together, while at the beginning of the 1990s around 2,200 children died or were seriously injured in Spain, by 2015 this figure had fallen to 355 (a drop of 81 percent).
The following graph from Fundación MAPFRE shows the evolution of the number of child fatalities and serious injuries according to data from the DGT:
Greater use of CRS
Bearing in mind the DGT data in the above-mentioned dossier, in the last few years the number of children aged under 12 traveling as passengers in cars and vans who use restraint systems has increased considerably. The latest Traffic Department data from 2011 indicate that 98.6 percent of children use them, while in 2003 this figure was just 61.5 percent.
However, these data vary quite significantly when it comes to children who have lost their lives in traffic accidents.
The following graph drawn up by Fundación MAPFRE shows in red the percentage of CRS use in children aged under 12, according to DGT data. The blue line shows the percentage of child restraint use among child fatalities, taking various sources into account.