Tablet computer kills young girl in car crash

Written by: Abaranji Sivakumar, Last updated:14th February 2022

Photo: shapecharge/iStock

The death of a three-year-old girl struck on the head by a tablet computer during a car accident has sparked concerns about the safety of using mobile devices in moving vehicles.

According to local reports, the incident occurred when the car her mother was driving collided with the back of a school bus in Vilanova de Arousa, a town in the north-west of Spain on Monday [Sept 24].

The unnamed girl was reportedly fastened into an Isofix-anchored child seat; however, the severity of the impact caused the unsecured tablet to launch into her face, causing severe head injuries.

Road safety organisations consider the tragedy to be highly unusual and unprecedented.

Regardless, this tragic accident “will send a shudder down the spine of every parent who lets their child use a tablet or smartphone as entertainment on any car journey”, said the RAC’s road safety expert Pete Williams.

Speaking to the BBC, Mr Williams added: “We have not heard of any similar incidents but it is important to realise that in a high-speed accident any hard object which is not strapped down inside a vehicle has the potential to become a lethal projectile.”

It isn’t uncommon for parents to hand tablets and other electronic devices to their children to keep them occupied during long car journeys.

There are accessories available that secure tablets to back of the front seat headrests, but this means the child can’t reach or engage with the tablet.

Meanwhile, there is no law ordering that such products must be fastened down.

Jez Strong, general manager for Tele-Gence, commented: “Defining and then policing a law forbidding the use of tablets in the rear seats would be hugely difficult. This has to be put down to an unusual yet deeply saddening incident.”

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Photo: shapecharge/iStock