Impact of Child Restraint Policies on Child Occupant Fatalities and Injuries in Chile and Its Regions: An Interrupted Time-Series Study
Nazif-Muñoz, JI.; Nandi, A.; Ruiz-Casares, M. (2018)
Accident Analysis & Prevention
120 | 38-45
We assessed the effectiveness of the child restraint legislation (CRL) introduced in Chile in December 2005 and the National Decree enacted in February 2007, which regulated the technical characteristics of child restraint devices with the goal of reducing child occupant fatalities and severe injuries nationally and within Chile’s regions.
An interrupted time–series design was used to measure the effect of CRL and the National Decree on two dependent variables—number of child occupant deaths in traffic collisions and number of child occupants severely injured in traffic collisions per vehicle fleet from 2002 to 2014 (police data). Our analyses compared the incidence of these outcomes in the post-intervention period (2006 to 2014) with the period prior to these interventions (2002–2005) nationally and by region, controlling for several confounders.
Nationally, the child restraint policies were associated with a 39.3% (95% CI: 4.7; 73.9) reduction in child occupant fatalities, but no significant decrease was observed in child severe injuries. These interventions were associated with a 75.3% (95% CI: 15.6; 135.1) reduction in the rate of child occupant fatalities in the southern regions, and a 32.9% (95% CI: 1.1; 67.0) reduction in the rate of children severely injured in the northern regions.
In the short term, the CRL and the National Decree were associated with fewer child occupant fatalities, at the national level and in the southern regions, and severely injured child occupants in traffic collisions in Chile’s northern regions. These results demonstrate a limited temporal and territorial impact. This suggests that to effectively protect vulnerable populations across all territories, efforts should be expanded more consistently and sustained over time.