The unnamed child was reportedly seated in a child’s car seat and was strapped in with an isofix system, when her mother drove into the back of a bus that had stopped ahead during the school run in Vilanove de Arosa at around 9am on Monday, according to La Voz de Galicia.
However, the child seat safety system did not stop prevent the girl slamming her face into the tablet’s screen at the moment of impact.
The 26-year-old mother reportedly told the Civil Guard that she had momentarily lost visibility with the glare from the sun and didn’t see that the traffic ahead had slowed and therefore failed to brake.
Photos from the scene showed the white Audi Q3 hatchback with a smashed up front half.
Fallece la niña de tres años herida en el accidente Vilanova ▶ La pequeña viajaba con los anclajes correctamente abrochados, pero sufrió un golpe en la cabeza contra la pantalla de una tablet https://t.co/WotAu61ulA
— La Voz de Galicia (@lavozdegalicia) September 25, 2018
The little girl had been airlifted to the Hospital Clínico de Santiago after the crash but had died later in the afternoon from head injuries consistent with smashing into the tablet’s screen. Both the mother and another child suffered minor injuries and were soon discharged.
The tragic death has raised fears over the safety of the common practise of allowing children to watch or play on handheld screens while travelling in the back of cars.
The Guardia Civil Traffic Police federation send a reminder of the dangers in a tweet alongside condolences to the family.
Guardar la distancia de seguridad, poner todos los sentidos en la carretera y no llevar objetos sueltos pueden evitar estas desgracias.
— AEGC Fed. Tráfico (@AEGCtrafico) September 25, 2018
“Watch your distance, stay focused on the road and don’t have loose objects in cars to avoid tragedies like this. Our sincere condolences to the family. RIP.” read the message.
Occasional road safety campaigns have warned that tablets should be well secured during car journeys.