RSA: Study Shows Child Road Injuries Declining

The study was carried out by Children's University Hospital, Temple Street with the help of the Road Safety Authority of Ireland (RSA). According to the study road traffic injuries among children has declined in the past 20 years.

The study assessed road-related injuries in under-15 year olds over 10 years. From 1996 to 2000 and from 2004 to 2008. This study included all road and traffic collisions occurring on public roads and requiring Garda assistance.

It shows a 36% decrease in the total number of children injured or killed on Irish roads. 5928 child injuries and deaths occurred between 1996 and 2000, with 3659 child injuries and deaths between 2004 and 2008.

Cycling injuries saw the biggest decline. A 76% decrease in deaths was seen and a 68% reduction in injuries. None of the deaths between 2004 and 2008 involved children under the age of 10. Only 2 cases involved the use of helmets and both suffered minor injuries.

Professor Alf Nicholson, consultant pediatrician and RCSI professor of paediatrics at Temple Street, says “The findings are hugely positive and there is no doubt that policy changes and concerted publicity campaigns in the intervening period have had a significant impact. It is vital that this safety message continues, however, with an emphasis on use of bicycle helmets and proper child restraints.”

Car passenger deaths among children fell by 38% from 69 to 44. Most of the deaths involved children in the rear passenger seat, but many children continue to travel in the front seat. 70% of deaths and injuries shows seat belt usage below 70%.

1,232 child pedestrian injuries were recorded from 2004 - 2008. 34% of the total injury toll. 32 child pedestrian deaths were record, 129 received serious injuries and 1071 had minor injuries. When the two time periods were compared, pedestrian fatalities had fallen by 48% and serious injuries had decreased by half.