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Child fatality rate for car accidents over 13 times higher when child seats not used: NPA survey

JIJI

The car accident fatality rate for passengers under 6 is over 13 times higher when a child seat is not used or is used incorrectly, police data showed Thursday.

In a survey covering the five years through 2018, eight of the 25,458 children involved in car accidents while correctly using child seats died, putting the fatality rate at 0.03 percent, according to the National Police Agency.

On the other hand, 33 of the 7,848 children harmed while not using such seats died, putting the fatality rate at 0.42 percent.

The agency plans to encourage proper use of child seats in its nationwide autumn campaign to promote traffic safety from Sept. 21 to 30.

Drivers are legally obliged to use a child seat for any passenger under 6. However, only 70.5 percent of the surveyed drivers with small children used them, according to a national survey conducted by the NPA and the Japan Automobile Federation in June.

The agency also said there is a growing trend in which people aged 65 or older are being killed in traffic accidents while walking or cycling during the hour around sunset between October and December. It will ask people to use reflective materials and turn on their bicycle lights early in the evening.

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