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Poorer children in more traffic accidents: report

Poorer children in more traffic accidents: report

Published: 11 Mar 2012 09:33 GMT+01:00
Updated: 11 Mar 2012 09:33 GMT+01:00

Traffic safety is a class issue in Sweden, as working class children are far more likely to be injured in traffic than their middle class friends, according to a study from Stockholm's Karolinska Institute.

"All parents want to protect their children, but not all have the same possibilities to do so," Marie Hasselberg, scientist at Karolinska Institute's department of public health sciences, told news agency TT.

The children of working class parents are 30 percent more likely to be injured in bicycle or pedestrian accidents, when compared to middle class children.

When these children then grow up and begin driving motorcycles and cars, the difference grows to 70 percent.

A team of researchers, including Marie Hasselberg, have been studying traffic accidents among children from a class perspective, and were struck by the large differences.

The original study was made in 2004, and Hasselberg is now planning to investigate whether the differences remain.

One major factor which determines traffic safety is naturally the family's economic situation. Helmets, car seats for children, and such all cost money.

Another factor appears to be how, and how much, the children are exposed to traffic.

"What's the surrounding environment for the child like? Does anyone walk them to school? If you're working shifts, that might be tricky to arrange," said Hasselberg.

According to her, differences in Swedish families' socioeconomic status needn't make such a impact on accident statistics, pointing out some changes which could even out this impact.

"We have to create places for playing, and safe paths to schools. In the meantime, there are other simple measures, such as a walking school bus."

The walking school bus is already in practice on several spots around Sweden. The adults simply take turns picking up the children at a given spot, and walking with them to school.

Hasselberg also calls for vehicle tests to include checking whether the child safety seat is properly assembled.

TT/The Local/cg (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

09:55 March 11, 2012 by MIDAZ
Most stupid article i ever read
10:48 March 11, 2012 by kinan
pffffffffffff !!!! really very stupid !
11:20 March 11, 2012 by space2
No, I disagree: it points to the fact, that if a family needs to save money, it is better to not save on helmets and child seats.
11:47 March 11, 2012 by Dave N
Poor people are far more likely to be less intelligent. Less intelligent people are far more likely to let their kids wander about on the streets. Less intelligent people are far less likely to teach their children any road sense. Why does someone have to waste time and money writing a report on something so bleeding obvious?

It reminds me of one time I was driving through a "deprived" area and had to stop my car because a small boy ( wearing a daiper and nothing else) was wandering about in the road. What appeared to be his big sister ( by a couple of years) then ran into the road and dragged him off. No sign of any adult supervision.
13:53 March 11, 2012 by Abe L
The worst part about this research is that research who get payed from our tax money waste their time on this nonsense. Which really doesn't require any kind of degree to figure out.
15:29 March 11, 2012 by HYBRED
So middle class people don't work?
15:52 March 11, 2012 by Frobobbles
So swedish working class, with a living standard most humans can only dream of, can't afford helmets. Wow.
17:58 March 11, 2012 by gpafledthis
thelocal.se has discovered the "IRRITATE the hell out of them" factor in readership - they are not swedish but brits bringing their type of SUNshine to various subjects !! DaveN got it right !! To be "poor" in sweden you'd have to be a mental defective and these people do not reproduce mental giants- it's just darwinism at work !! And your welfare officials should rejoice at these stats !!!
21:09 March 11, 2012 by millionmileman
this must mean that children of Volvo and SAAB owners must have a higher survival rate. This is another incentive to get SAAB back to work!
08:38 March 12, 2012 by karex
#7 Methinks that Swedish working class can afford helmets. But I suspect that some would rather save up for a holiday in Thailand instead... Working class here is equivalent to upper middle class in many other parts of the world.
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