More than 600 children between the ages of 0 and 9 years old died in car accidents in 2020. According to the Road Traffic Management Corporation collisions are the leading cause of death and injuries for children under the age of 14.
Wheel Well, a non-governmental organisation that focuses on road safety for children, has called upon all parents to make sure that their children are buckled up in appropriate car seats if they are on the roads over this Easter weekend.
Wheel Well provides professionally reconditioned used car seats to parents who cannot afford them in a bid to make this life-saving product available to as many South Africans as possible. 13 829 car seats have been donated to the organisation, with 10 244 of them distributed to those who need them after reconditioning and safety checking.
Founder of Wheel Well, Peggie Mars, said it is during Easter that road traffic fatalities spike and children are particularly vulnerable as they are on the roads in higher than usual numbers.
“The US Centre for Disease Control and Prevention says that the risk of injury is reduced by as much as 82% for children when a car seat is used, as compared to using a seatbelt on its own.”
Mars further said despite the fact that children under five years of age are especially at high risk of serious injury and death, and that car seats reduce that risk, only 7.8% of South African child passengers are properly protected through the use of properly used car seats.
Compiled by Corn Koteli