‘Worrying’ Report Shows Young Children Are More At Risk On Roads

Legal Experts Call On Government To Increase Safety Measures


By Helen MacGregor

Legal experts at Irwin Mitchell have called on the Government to ‘act now to save lives’ after a report revealed the proportional share of death and serious injury on the roads involving children under five is at the highest level for 10 years.

The report from insurance company AXA also revealed pedestrian casualties for girls aged under eight are now at their highest level since 2005.

Thirty-two per cent of pedestrians involved in serious accidents during the school run are 11-12-year-olds while the pedestrian casualty rate for girls rises steeply from the age of 11, and 11-year-old girls are three times as likely to be involved in an accident as a 10-year-old.

The findings were based on AXA-commissioned research from agency Opinium, which submitted requests under the Freedom of Information Act.

AXA also published the results of a survey of mobile phone usage among 1,000 young people aged 8-18.

This survey showed:
• An 11-year-old is six times more likely to text on the way to school than a 10-year-old;
• The age of 11, the highest risk age for child pedestrians, is now the average age at which children receive their first mobile phone;
• By the age of 12, nearly 73% of children have a mobile phone, while a quarter of 12-year-olds acknowledge that they have been distracted by personal technology when crossing a road.

Philip Edwards, a Partner and serious injury expert at law firm Irwin Mitchell’s Birmingham office, said: “At Irwin Mitchell we see the devastating consequences that a road traffic collision can have on people’s lives, whether it is the loss suffered by the family of someone killed on our roads, or the life-changing effect of serious injuries suffered by pedestrians.

“These latest figures are worrying, particularly because it shows all age groups are at risk of being seriously or even fatally injured.

“We would urge the Government and other road safety bodies to act now to save lives. They need to work quickly to consider what measures can be taken to reduce the number of collisions around schools and in densely populated areas, whether this may be general improvements to infrastructure, reducing the speed limit or other steps to cut the number of incidents.

“It is vital that young drivers are given quality advice and education in regards to safety, which will hopefully help them to keep themselves, other road users and pedestrians safe from harm.”

Read more about Irwin Mitchell's expertise relating to Road Traffic claims