With the clocks going back an hour across Europe and the USA and the nights drawing in very quickly, this is the ideal time to focus on road safety. Every year, 350,000 children around the world are killed by road traffic – and for every death, there is another life-changing disability. In Europe, children under 10 years are the age group with the highest percentage of pedestrian fatalities. Although all children are vulnerable, it seems some are more at risk than others. For example, in the United Kingdom, twice as many boys are likely to be killed or seriously injured than girls in the same 5-11 year age group. Similarly, in the Netherlands, 64% of traffic victims under 14 years are boys.
This is echoed by statistics in Germany where they have been linked to a general tendency amongst boys to take more risks. However, the overall risk is higher depending on the time of day – on the way to or from school and in the afternoon when children are outside playing. Accordingly, more accidents happen on weekdays and in particular on Fridays, when commuter traffic builds up earlier towards the weekend. Speed restrictions in urban areas significantly reduce the likelihood of accidents.
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