‘Summer days more dangerous for children’

While the winter months are darker and wetter, it’s the summer months that seem to claim most young

While the winter months are darker and wetter, it’s the summer months that seem to claim most young lives on British roads. - Credit: PA

More children die on the roads in the longer summer days than in winter, according to the RAC Foundation.

Now that the clocks have gone forward, the RAC Foundation is urging children and adults – whether on foot, riding or driving – to be aware of the potential risks.

The biggest number of child road casualties in Britain were recorded in the month of July, according to RAC research based on a five-year average from 2010-14.

There were 227 under-15s killed or seriously injured during this period, from a total of 1,733 casualties in that age bracket.The lowest monthly averages were in December, with 122 children killed or hurt out of 1,103 casualties.

The figures show that 2,250 under-15s were killed or seriously injured from 2010-14, when there were a total of 17,755 casualties.

The better weather and longer days mean more children play outside with friends or cycle and walk to school, which could potentially mean a greater exposure to risk, according to the RAC Foundation.

It found that 40% of all child road casualties are pedestrians and that 13% of are cyclists.

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The peak hour for child road casualties was between 3pm and 4pm, but many children were also hurt in the following couple of hours. There is also a spike in the morning between 8am and 9am, coinciding with school runs.

Steve Gooding, RAC Foundation director, said: 'Instinctively we think of the dark, cold months as taking the biggest toll on our children. But the opposite is true.

'With the longer, warmer days, children are more likely to be out and about and with that comes a rise in casualties.

'We don't want to wrap our children in cotton wool, and walking and cycling are generally good for our health, so as adults and parents we need to lead by example whether we are driving a car, crossing the road or on two wheels.

'The more we act responsibly, the faster young children will learn and the more likely they will be to stay safe when they have to make decisions for themselves.'

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