More than 15 children and young people are killed on roads in the European Union on average every week and more than 11,000 have died over the last decade, according to a new report.
The study by the European Transport Safety Council (ETSC), the Flemish Foundation for Traffic Knowledge (VSV) and Fundación MAPFRE looks at how traffic education, particularly among teenagers, needs to be improved across Europe.
The data show that while road safety has improved over the past decade for those aged 0 to 17, the safety of children and youngsters differs vastly between European countries. The mortality rate of those under 18 is seven times higher in Bulgaria than in Norway.
The study also found despite the improvements, 809 children and youngsters were killed on the road in 2020 alone. Half of those killed were aged 15 to 17 and one in every five deaths among 17-year-olds is from a collision on the road.
The report highlights that traffic education in Europe, while widespread at primary school level, falls away once children and youngsters move to secondary and further education in many European countries.
Road mortality of children and youngsters is predominantly a male problem, according to the study, as boys account for two-thirds (66%) of road deaths under the age of 18. The gender divide increases with age, with boys accounting for 77% of road deaths among 17-year-olds.
The full report ‘The Role of Education in Reducing Deaths Among Children and Youngsters on European Roads’ is available on the ETSC website.