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"The safety of children has improved a lot, and although much remains to be done, we are on the right way"

Interview with Antonio Lucas, RACE press and publications head


In this interview, Antonio Lucas, head of press and publications of the Real Automobile Club of Spain (RACE), will give us his vision on some important aspects of road safety in minors, as well as the role of manufacturers and retailers specialized in the correct use of the Child Retention Systems by the consumer; all in a context in which the new i-Size standard is progressively being introduced in Europe.

- What are the statistics on child road accidents in Spain?
- From 2001 to 2014, 75,804 children suffered injuries as a result of a traffic accident, of which 8,682 were seriously injured and 1,327 died. If we take into account the data recently published by the DGT, in 2015 25 children under the age of 14 were killed by a traffic accident, of which 13 were occupants of a vehicle. We are surprised by the age of the children, since 40% were babies from 0 to 1 year of life, and another 40% from 6 to 14 years.

- How do you value the progressive introduction of the i-Size regulation? In what sense are car seats improving and their use?

- i-Size has improved children's safety in several ways. First, it is a harder norm, introducing lateral impacts, which are the most dangerous, and most frequent. And also, it increases the use in reverse direction to the march, at least until the 15 months, although there are chairs i-Size up to 105 centimeters that would equal to 18 kilos, more or less. This safety is demonstrated in the results of the European tests, where they have obtained the best results.

- What do you think about the positioning of the auto chairs to countermarch?

- In 2012, we performed the first test on the use of chairs in reverse, demonstrating their effectiveness against the direction of travel. Therefore, we don’t understand the criticism received from some sectors. Another aspect is the time in which they should go in this direction, which comes conditioned by the system, and the anchorage of the car. The first and most important is that there is no infallible system: 41% of accidents in Spain are by way of exit, and 15% are lateral and frontolateral. Unfortunately, there are also children who die in the reverse direction of the march. If we look at the data from 2015, five children died between 0 and 1 year years old, weight and height traveled in a group in the opposite direction to the march. The safety of children has improved a lot, and although much remains to be done, we are on the right way. Now there is a need to improve training. The Bureau for Child Safety goes along this line, in joining efforts to achieve the common goal of 0 victims.

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