child passenger deaths

There is plenty of skepticism from older generations about whether changes in child safety restraints have really reduced child passenger deaths. Many believe that since their children survived without rear-facing infant car seats, for example, that there is really no need for all the new recommendations and laws. But what do the statistics on child passenger deaths show us?

Child passenger deaths statistics

Data released November, 2015 by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety reveals that child passenger deaths have declined dramatically since 1975. Credit goes to the changes in child restraints. For example, restraining infants and toddlers in rear-facing seats instead of front-facing seats reduces fatal injury risk by about three-quarters for children up to age three, and by almost half for children between the ages of four and eight. Children four and older are most likely to ride as passengers in cars without any form of child restraint. While all 50 states and the District of Columbia have child restraint laws, they are not all the same. Only 17 states, for example, have laws requiring children to sit in the back seat. Among these laws there are big differences based on factors such as the child’s age, height and weight and the presence of air bags.

Data from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) reveals:

  • Child passenger deaths were 52 percent lower in 2015 than in 1975.
  • The rate of car accident deaths per million children under the age of 13 has decreased 78 percent overall since 1975 when including child passenger, pedestrian and bicycle accidents.
  • Only 13 percent of passenger vehicle child occupant deaths in 2015 occurred with the child in the front seat, down from 46 percent in 1975.
  • In 1975 infants – babies under 12 months of age – had a much higher child passenger fatality rate per capita than children of other ages, but this gap narrowed over the years as rear-facing infant restraint laws went into place. In 2015 there was little difference in the passenger fatality rates among children of different ages.
  • Since 1975 child passenger fatality rates have dropped 80 percent for infants, 66 percent for children ages one to three, 52 percent for children ages four to eight, and 48 percent for children ages nine to 12.

While car seat laws have dramatically increased safety for child passengers, car accidents still cause one of every four unintentional injury deaths among children. Car accidents are also the leading cause of death for children under the age of 13. If your child was killed in a car accident contact a car accident lawyer today. He or she will assess the details of the accident and may be able to fight for a settlement several times what you could negotiate on your own. The settlement may help to cover damages for medical/funeral expenses, lost wages during grieving, pain and suffering.

If you or a loved one is dealing with an accident or injury, you have enough on your plate. Let an experienced accident attorney fight for the justice and compensation that you deserve. It is not uncommon to receive a settlement from the insurance company that is five to ten times bigger with the help of a lawyer. Call the caring accident attorneys at Tario & Associates, P.S. in Bellingham, WA today for a FREE consultation! We have been representing residents of Whatcom County, Skagit County, Island County and Snohomish County since 1979. You will pay nothing up front and no attorney fees at all unless we recover damages for you!