How to Reduce Child Car Accident Fatalities
The death of a child carries a particular tragedy. Parents fear the loss of their children probably more than any other single thing. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), injuries from motor vehicle accidents are a leading cause of death among children in the United States. Since most motor vehicle accidents are preventable, most of these deaths are preventable too.
If you lost a child in a horrible car accident, contact a car accident attorney for help. The accident lawyer can discuss your legal rights and may be able to help you recover damages for your loss.
Child car accident fatality data
According to 2017 U.S. data shared by the Center for Disease Control (CDC):
- 675 children 12 years old and younger died as passengers in motor vehicle crashes.
- Almost 116,000 children 12 years old and younger were injured in car crashes.
- One child under the age of 13 was killed in a passenger vehicle involved in a car accident every 32 seconds.
Why are so many children killed in car accidents?
According to the CDC, the two biggest reasons that children are killed in car accidents are not wearing seat belts and drinking and driving accidents.
Seat belt statistics show:
- In 2009-2010: of children 12 years old and younger who were killed in a car crash (for which restraint use was known), 35 percent were not wearing a seat belt. This breaks down to 26 percent of white children, 45 percent of black children and 46 percent of Hispanic children.
- In 2017, only 51 percent of eight to 12-year-olds were buckled up at the time of the car accident, compared to 64 percent of four to seven-year-olds and 78 percent of children under the age of four.
- In addition to the issue of children not wearing seat belts, not all child restraint systems are used correctly; which means a reduction in their ability to keep the child safe.
Drunk driving statistics show:
- Between 2001 and 2010, about one in five child passenger fatalities (under the age of 15) involved a drunk driver; 65 percent of the time, it was the child’s own driver that was intoxicated.
- Compounding the issue, 61 percent of child passengers of drunk drivers were not using a seat belt at the time of the crash.
How to reduce the risk of child car accident fatalities
The CDC recommends always buckling children in age, weight and height appropriate car seats, booster seats, and seat belts.
- The proper use of infant and toddler car seats reduces the risk of injury and death in a crash by 71-82 percent over the use of seat belts alone.
- The proper use of booster seats for children between the ages of 4-8 reduces the risk of serious injury or death in a crash by 45 percent over the use of seat belts alone.
- For children over the age of eight and 4’9” in height, using a seat belt reduces the risk of serious injury and death by about 50 percent as compared to not wearing a seat belt.
States can do their part to prevent fatal car crashes involving children by making child restraint laws that follow the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommendations. Click here for a blog post outlining Washington State’s new child restraint laws.
Seek the help of a car accident attorney
If you have lost a loved one or been injured through no fault of your own, you have enough on your plate. Let an experienced accident attorney fight for the justice and fair compensation that you deserve. It is not uncommon to receive a settlement from the insurance company that is five to ten times larger with the help of a lawyer. Call the caring, tireless and experienced personal injury attorneys at Tario & Associates, P.S. in Bellingham, WA today for a FREE consultation! We have been representing residents of Whatcom County, Skagit County and surrounding areas since 1979. You will pay nothing up front and no attorney fees at all unless we recover damages for you!