Intelligent Driver Assistance Systems Can Save Children’s Lives
The figures are shocking: In the European Union, more than 8,000 children aged 14 or under have been killed in road traffic accidents over the last ten years. Half of the children killed were traveling in cars, a third were pedestrians and 13% were cycling, according to a report by the European Transport Safety Council (ETSC). Sweden has the lowest number of children killed in road traffic accidents and, in comparison, seven times as many children are killed in road traffic accidents in Romania. However, a number of EU member states, including Greece, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain and the United Kingdom, have achieved a reduction of more than 10% in some cases.
Nevertheless, there is still significant room for improvement across the EU as a whole. Therefore, ETSC is requesting that the EU makes safety technologies such as intelligent speed assistants and emergency braking systems with pedestrian and cyclist detection compulsory standard equipment in vehicles. “These systems can be just as important for saving children as a seatbelt,” says ETSC Executive Director Antonio Avenoso. However, it would not be enough to just offer them as optional extras.
The report also shows that the failure to use child seats and faulty or incorrectly fitted child seats present a major problem. According to the World Health Organization, child restraint systems that are correctly installed and used reduce the probability of fatalities in an accident by up to 80%. Furthermore, the ETSC is requesting that the EU member states introduce 30 km/h zones in areas with high levels of pedestrian and bicycle traffic and near to schools more consistently than in the past.