Still a Lot Needs to Be Done
The number was already mentioned in the introduction to this report. According to the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington, nearly 112,000 children under the age of 15 were killed in traffic accidents around the world in 2017 – approximately 49,000 of them were under five, and 62,500 were between 5 and 14 years old. Considering that there were a total of 223,500 traffic fatalities in these two age groups in 1990, more than twice as many as in 2017, until now the trend is quite positive. Asia was at the top in 2017 with just under 52,000 fatalities, followed by Africa with approximately 47,550 fatalities, America with approximately 9,200 fatalities, and Europe with approximately 2,800 fatalities. The largest decline between 1990 and 2017 was achieved by Asia with just under 58 percent, while in Africa the decline in this period was only 27 percent.
In the case of children under five, Africa was by far the leading country in 2017 with approximately 26,550 traffic fatalities. This is also reflected in the proportion of fatalities in this age group per 100,000 population. While this proportion was approximately seven fatalities globally, it was 14 in Africa. And a few more figures: In traffic fatalities for 5- to 14-year-olds, between 1990 and 2017 Africa declined only by approximately 12 percent from 23,850 to 21,000, while Asia decreased 48 percent from 64,500 to 33,500. Africa and Asia continue to account for the majority of traffic fatalities below the age of 15. As already mentioned in the introduction to this report as well, many campaigns have been launched in these regions to ensure greater road safety for this age group in recent years.
Basically, comparisons of the number of road users killed among different countries are not easy. The absolute numbers are undoubtedly an important indication, but at the end of the day, the reference to 100,000 people in this age group mentioned above for Africa, is even more significant when trying to measure the risk of getting killed in a road traffic accident. According to figures from the World Health Organization (WHO) and the International Road Traffic and Accident Database (IRTAD), countries such as Sweden, the United Kingdom, and Norway each have a value of less than three, while countries such as the USA or Chile have values greater than 10.
This figure for children up to the age of 14 demonstrates that children have a lower risk of being killed in road traffic than adults in every country on earth. The front runners here are Norway (0.414), Sweden (0.420); and the United Kingdom (0.460). Within this age group, children between 0 and 5 have even better values. Once again, Norway, Sweden, and the United Kingdom are at the top, with a fatality rate of less than 0.4 per 100,000 persons in this age group. In the US, the value of just under 1.90 is several times this figure.
Overall, there is a trend towards greater s safety for children in road traffic in countries with a higher per capita income. However, this does not mean that countries with higher income levels automatically have better road safety for children. For example, Hungary and Denmark have a roughly equivalent comparison value of 0.836 and 0.802 respectively – with average incomes of EUR 13,260 and EUR 61,680 respectively.