Think! Education

Why teach road safety?

There has been a continued reduction in child and teen road casualties over the last decades. However in 2014, there were still 2,446 children (0-16 years) killed or seriously injured (KSIs) on our roads. Despite the small rise (5%) on 2013 (the first in over two decades), this was the second lowest year on record and 37% down from the 2005-09 average. Whilst UK roads are very safe by international comparisons, there is still a need to continue the downward trend in child road deaths.

The following statistics taken from the Reported Road Casualties report (2015) give a broad picture:

  • In 2014, 67 children aged 0-16 were killed on UK roads. Another 2,379 were seriously injured.
  • Of the above, 9 deaths and 277 were serious injuries were in the between 0-4 years old.
  • Children aged 0-4 years old represent 12% of child (0-16 years old) of KSIs.
  • The number of KSIs for this age group increased by 5% between 2013 and 2014 but have decreased by 12% since 2010.

The majority of 0-4 year olds killed or seriously injured were on foot (65%) followed by those seated in cars (28%). Only 1% of child KSIs at this age were cyclists.

Parents are often uncertain about where the responsibility for teaching road safety lies. One of the aims of this resource is to ensure this responsibility is shared by all those involved with young children, though the primary responsibility is the parents.

It should also be emphasised that there is a need for overall balance when teaching road safety: we must not suggest to young children that they are always at great risk near traffic and we do certainly not want to convey the message to anyone, least of all parents, that children can only be kept safe by keeping them indoors or in cars.