The World Health Organisation has recently published a new paper looking at Ten Strategies for Keeping Children Safe on the Road. The paper has been published to support Global Road Safety Week which runs from 4th until 10th May.
The paper looks at the wider issues of road safety for children and how they can feel safer and be more protected whilst our and about. The paper starkly points out that ‘every four minutes a child is prematurely lost on the roads of this world.’ In fact, 186,000 children die every year in road crashes and this makes it the biggest causes of death amongst young people aged between 15 and 17, the third biggest cause of death for younger children aged between 10 and 14 and the fourth biggest cause of death for children aged between 5 and 9.
Looking at global data the WHO has highlighted that the children most likely to be killed in a road traffic accident live in low to middle-income countries, which is where 95% of all road traffic fatalities take place.
The paper lays out the following ten strategies and ways to closely target them:
- Controlling speed
- Reducing drink and driving
- Using helmets for bicyclists and motorcyclists
- Restraining children in vehicles
- Improving children’s ability to see and be seen
- Enhancing road infrastructure
- Adapting vehicle design
- Reducing risks for young drivers
- Providing appropriate care for injured children
- Supervising children around roads
With all these points in mind and the backing of the World Health Organisation there is hope that Global Road Safety Week will be a huge success in raising awareness and helping to reduce the casualties around the world.
Alongside focusing on ways for making the roads safer, the report also highlights how important it is to promote healthy lifestyle for people of all ages. Walking and cycling regularly can help build up confidence and the more people walking and cycling means less are driving on short distances where it isn’t necessary.
In every age group of children of five and above road traffic injuries are amongst the top four causes of death and this is something we can work to change. Breaking down the data even further the WHO state that nearly twice as many boys die on the road as girls and this is probably due to boys experiencing more exposure to traffic due to a nature disposition for risk-taking, especially in the later teenage years.
Children are at particular risk and are vulnerable to traffic and therefore need to feel safe on the roads. As well as raising awareness in young people themselves, a greater understanding amongst drivers may help curb the number of deaths worldwide.