New research shows that child pedestrians in Scotland are much more likely to be injured in road traffic accidents than adults across the nation.
Specifically, the recent study by Glasgow Centre for Population Health (GCPH), shows that the risk for children is two-and-a-half times more than the risk for adults.
The research also shows that child pedestrians from Scotland's more deprived areas are three times more likely to be injured in road traffic accidents when compared to child pedestrians in more affluent areas in the country.
Perhaps, unsurprisingly, when compared to adults from less deprived areas, adults from deprived areas were shown to be two and a half times as more likely to be injured in a road traffic accident.
The report also found that the number of adult cyclist casualties has increased significantly over the last ten years, with said casualties more likely in less deprived neighbourhoods.
Further, the adult and child pedestrian casualties rate was shown to be highest in large urban areas.
Commenting, Bruce Whyte, who took part in the study, and is GCPH's Public Health Programme Manager, stated:
"It is clearly concerning that, despite a drop in pedestrian casualties over the last decade, the rate of child pedestrians injured on ours roads is still high – two- and-a-half times that found for adult pedestrians. It is also worrying that pedestrian casualties remain significantly higher in more deprived communities.
"The rise in adult cyclist casualties is also worrying. It is likely that this increase is associated with an increase in cycling prevalence, but we should neither expect, nor accept, that cyclist casualties rise as cycling prevalence increases."
Whyte added: "Safety and perception of risk on our roads are key issues that we need to address if we are to encourage more people to walk and cycle in our communities. We need multiple concurrent approaches to create a safer and more conducive environment for active travel: investment in safe, well-designed and integrated infrastructure; area speed restrictions; better road maintenance; road user training; behaviour change campaigns; and neighbourhood design which enables safe walking, cycling and play."
Also commenting, GCPH Public Health Consultant, Fiona Crawford, stated:
"We have lots of policies highlighting the importance of active travel but the challenge is to invest in the pedestrian/cycling infrastructure sufficiently to encourage more people to walk and cycle. We know that increases in everyday walking and cycling will not only benefit physical and mental health, but will contribute to improved air quality and reduced carbon emissions...
"There are important lessons to be learnt from European cities such as Gothenburg and Amsterdam that have achieved impressive increases in active travel through sustained investment, political commitment and a vision for the future."
If you have been injured in a road traffic accident – regardless of whether you were in a vehicle or simply a pedestrian, we can help. For specialist road traffic accident compensation claims advice in Scotland, contact us today. To do so, click here to make an online enquiry or call us on 0131 516 9180.