Traffic accidents were the leading external cause of child mortality in 2014, as indicated in the report "Panorama de la Seguridad Infantil en el Automóvil (años 1990-214)" (State of Child Safety in Vehicles (1990-2014)) undertaken by the Accident Prevention and Road Safety Area of Fundación MAPFRE. In fact, they accounted for 23 percent of all deaths in children from 0 to 14 years of age. Traffic accidents were followed as a leading cause by accidental drowning, submersion and suffocation.
Although it is the smallest percentage in the last 25 years, traffic accidents are still the leading external cause of child mortality. Accidental drowning, submersion and suffocation are in second place as a cause of child mortality which, for the first and only time in the last 25 years, decreased in 2014 to 20 percent.
The report addressed the state of child road safety in Spain from 1990 to 2014, with final data from 2014. It also covers in detail the progression of safety for children who are passengers in cars and vans.
Falls increased in 2014 as an external cause of death in children, holding third place on the list and representing 13 percent of child fatalities. In addition, the external cause of death in children aged 0 to 14 that increased the most in 2014 was fire: accidents due to fire, smoke and hot substances. 14 children died in Spain due to this cause. That is 9 percent of the total, and the fourth cause of child mortality. In addition, 7 percent of children who perished in 2014 were victims of homicide (11 children).
ROAD ACCIDENT FATALITIES
In 2014, a total of 37 children between 0 and 14 years of age died in Spain as a result of traffic accidents. This is 20 percent less than in 2013, when the number of children who passed away from this cause was 46.
If injuries are added in, the report indicates that 388 children suffered severe injuries or loss of life in a traffic accident in 2014, 15 percent less than in 2013 (456 victims).
Note that 25 children died on inter-city roads (67 percent), while 12 children died on city roads (33 percent). Moreover, 66 percent of severe injuries and 63 percent of minor injuries in Spain in 2014 occurred on urban roads.
The report also highlights that the majority of children under 15 years old who died in traffic accidents that year were passengers in cars or vans (20 fatalities).
The number of children who were pedestrians and who passed away (13 fatalities) is also significant: just over a third of traffic accident child fatalities in Spain in 2014 between 0 and 14 years of age were pedestrians (specifically 35 percent of child fatalities).
ROAD TO "GOAL ZERO"
In the last two decades, between 1990 and 2014, the number of children from 0 to 14 years old who died as a result of traffic accidents decreased from 307 to 37. This is an 88 percent decrease, which means that for every 8 children who died in traffic accidents in Spain in 1990, only one perishes today.
Regarding the number of deceased or severely wounded children, at the beginning of the nineteen-nineties, around 2,200 children perished or were severely wounded in Spain, while in 2014 this number decreased to 351 (a decrease of 81 percent).
Furthermore, while the number of severely injured children in 2014 is the lowest number in the last 22 years (the second lowest was in 2012 with 373 severe injuries), the number of slightly injured children has increased in recent years. The number in 2014 was the highest in the last eleven years.
CAR SEAT OR NO CAR SEAT?
The percentage of children who died that used child restraint systems has changed, increasing between 2012 and 2014. The most recent available data, which is from 2015, indicates that 30 percent of child fatalities between the ages of 0 and 12, who were passengers in cars or vans, were not using any type of restraint accessory (24 hour-a-day information on inter-city roads).
In comparison with the previous year, 2014, the percentage of children using restraint accessories decreased significantly in 2015: in 2014, the percentage of use of restraint systems in cases of child mortality was 86 percent.