A father and daughter were hospitalized after being struck by the open, swinging tailgate of a truck passing them in a residential area in Wujiang district, Suzhou in east China’s Jiangsu Province. Taking a right turn at high speed, the truck driver cut the corner and ended up on the wrong side of the road. As the truck swerved around the bend, its tailgate came loose, hitting the father and daughter who were riding an e-bike in the opposite direction. They both lost consciousness and were sent to hospital for treatment, where the 4-year-old girl was in a serious condition due to a head injury, leaving her unable to walk after she regained consciousness. Doctors remain uncertain if she can make a full recovery. According to police, the truck’s driver took full responsibility for the accident.
Neither the father nor his daughter were wearing helmets or protective clothing on the e-bike. According to the World Health Organization, wearing a helmet can reduce the risk and severity of injuries sustained in a motorcycle accident by 72%. However, China Daily reported earlier this year that an investigation into the quality of helmets in Jiangsu Province found that only 24 out of 120 samples passed safety standards, and all children’s helmets failed.
The WHO also states that the majority of road fatalities in China, which it estimated to be 261,367 in 2015, happen to “vulnerable road users” – pedestrians, motorcyclists and cyclists. According to Sixth Tone, there are currently more than 300 million riders of two-wheeled vehicles in the country.
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