80% of children dying on Qatar’s roads are teens; just over 1% used seatbelts
About 80% of children who die on Qatar roads are teens, analysis of road traffic injury (RTI) data reveals. Of them, 21% were drivers, under 18 years of age. About 42% of those injured in the 10-14 age group, were riding a bicycle or all terrain vehicle (ATV).
The death rate increased quite drastically for young Qatari males, ages 10-19 years.
The analysis shared with JustHere was conducted by the Hamad Injury Prevention Program (HIPP) and the Clinical Research Unit of the Hamad Trauma Center, Hamad General Hospital.
The data sample comprises 443 patients (aged 0-18 years) who were admitted by the Hamad Trauma Center for injuries they suffered as drivers, passengers, cyclists, ATV users or pedestrians, for the years 2010-2012.
The findings were:
- 1 in 11 trauma patients seen at the Hamad Trauma Center was a child victim of RTI.
- Only 1 out of 7 children who died in Qatar from RTI’s was treated at a hospital, 86% of children who died had injuries so severe that they died at the scene.
- For every child RTI death, 4 child RTI patients are admitted to the Hamad Trauma Center.
- The greatest risk of injury and death on Qatar’s roads is found among the 15-18 year olds. Over 40% of the victims and 80% of those that died from their injuries were 15-18 year olds.
- The death rate from RTI increased for young Qatari males, ages 10-19 years.
- Only 1.2% of passengers and drivers were using a seatbelt or a car seat.
- The risk for RTI follows an age-dependent pattern.
- <1 year: most commonly injured as passengers with 1 in 4 not surviving their injuries. None of this age-group was in a car seat.
- 1-4 years: most commonly injured as pedestrians [58%] and passengers [39%]. None was in a car seat.
- 5-9 years: most commonly injured as pedestrians [43%] or passengers [40%].
- 10-14 years: most commonly injured as ATV or bicycle riders [42%] or passengers [39%]. One in 6 victims were driving a car at the time of injury.
- 15-18 years: 42% were drivers, 21% younger than 18 years. 1 in 12 did not survive their injuries. 80% of all deaths on this age-group.
Speaking to JustHere Injury Prevention Director of the Hamad Trauma Center, Rafael Isidro G.D.J. Consunji, emphasised that prevention is the key, as only 14% survive and make it to the hospital.
“Interventions must be done pro-actively so that children learn good road safety habits at an early age. These must be family and school-based so that children will learn the fundamentals of road safety [proper pedestrian behaviours, the appropriate use of helmets when cycling and driving an ATV, and the age-specific use of child restraints and seatbelts] with their teachers and family members serving as role models.”
He adds that stricter and consistent enforcement of present road traffic laws on seatbelt use, under-age drivers and child passengers will be the next steps to take. The Ministry of Interior has launched Road Safety Educational Curriculum across all independent schools in the country as a joint initiative between National Road Safety Committee and the Supreme Education Council. The curricula has been designed to promote traffic awareness among youth and reduce the rate of accidents.
What more can we do to make the roads safe for our children?
[Photo courtesy: Erick Espinosa via Flickr]