12 and 16 year-olds are the most at risk of being involved in an accident on their way to school, even more if they're a boy, according to a study conducted by the Vias road safety institute.
On average, 13 children per (school) day in Belgium are involved in an accident whilst going to school, according to Vias. Several factors mean that 12 and 16 year-olds are 66% more at risk of being involved in an accident on their way to school.
Most teenagers start going to school alone at the age of 12, meaning that they are not yet risk-averse.
16 is the age at which young people turn to other means of transport, in particular scooters, which increases the risk of an accident.
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Furthermore, the study found that males are 50% more likely of being involved in an accident than girls, with 16 year-old boys being the most vulnerable group, accounting for 299 casualties per 100,000 residents.
Vias also stated that Wednesdays at around midday is the most 'dangerous' time of the week since all of the students leave school at the same time.
When looking for regional disparities in these accidents, we can notice that: in Brussels, young pedestrians account for 60% of all victims of an accident on their way to school, whereas 36% of these casualties in Wallonia are passengers in a car, compared to 51% of victims in Flanders who are cyclists.