In 9 years much has been done for children's road safety. The road accident statistics gathered annually by the Department of Traffic show this, and also demonstrate that in less than 9 years the number of child fatalitites under the age of 14 years old in road accidents has fallen by 74.07%. Likewise, the number of hospitalized injured persons within this age range has gone down by 40.03%. Nevertheless, there is still a long way to go to reach ‘Goal Zero’.
Reaching 'Goal Zero' of fatalities in road accidents is not an impossible task. The data shows that the number of children's road accidents is going down. Last year ended with 28 child fatalities on Spanish roads (up to 14 years old), 385 were hospitalized with their injuries and 6925 were wounded. In total, children up to 14 years old represent 2% of the total number of fatalities recorded during this current year, while those with serious injuries account for 4% and those with non-hospitalized injuries account for 5%. It is also worth highlighting that the death rates for the age group up to 14 years old was 0.4 when for the rest of the age groups it was 1.3.
As the following graphic demonstrates, this decrease is clear to see. 9 years ago, back in 2007, 108 children up to 14 years old died in road accidents and 643 were seriously injured. This reduction is extremely significant: 74.07% fewer fatalities and 40.03% fewer were seriously injured.
The difference is even greater if we go back to 1990, for example, when fatalities between 0 and 14 years old in road accidents rose to 307. This data can all be found in Fundación MAPFRE's ‘An Overview of Children's Road Safety in Cars in Spain (1990-2015)’ report.
Nevertheless, despite the improvements made in the last few years, there has been an increase as compared to 2015. Last year ended with 25 fatalities and 355 injured and requiring hospitalization. This clearly demonstrates a slight increase in numbers: 12% higher with regard to children up to 14 years old who died in road accidents and 8.45% higher in terms of the seriously injured.
This proves that we need to continue working on children's road safety by encouraging the use of child restraint sytems in vehices and fostering responsable behaviour on the part of all road users. We should be improving children's road safety education and implementing measures aimed at achieving 'Goal Zero'.
We recommend our articles entitled ‘What kinds of measures could lead to a more widespread use of seat belts and child car seats?’ and ‘How have child road accident rates and the use of CRS evolved in recent years in Spain?’.