Background Youngsters, defined as those who are between 15 and 17 years old, comprise a road user group that exhibits high risk rates due to different causes from other age groups. This age corresponds to the learning of autonomy and more particularly of access to different means of transport. In 2013, around 630 persons aged 15–17 years old were killed in road accidents in the EU, constituting almost 2,5% of all road accident fatalities for that year.
Methods The objective of this research is the analysis of basic road safety parameters related to young people aged 15–17 years old in the EU countries, by the use of the EU CARE database with disaggregated data on road accidents and of other data sources such as Eurostat. Time-series data on road accidents involving youngsters from 28 EU countries over a period of 10 years (2004–2013) are correlated with basic safety parameters, such as gender, road user type, transport mode, road type, seasonality and day of the week. Data from the EU Injury Database are also used to identify injury patterns and improve the assessment of injury severity.
Results At this age, youngsters are beginning to gain access to driving motorised vehicles and especially motorised two-wheelers. As a result, motorised two-wheelers’ share is much higher for 15–17 year olds than for the other age groups. Moreover, girls killed in road accidents were more likely to be killed as passengers than the boys and much less likely to be killed as drivers. As regards the type of road, in 2013 most youngster fatal road accidents occurred on rural roads. Finally, the 15–17 year olds are more likely to be killed in road accidents during spring and summer, as well as during weekends, than the whole population.
Conclusions The results of the analysis allow for an overall assessment of the youngsters safety level in the European road network in relation to the younger or older road users, providing thus useful support to decision makers working for the improvement of safety in the European road network.
- EU-CARE database
- road safety
- European countries