Child Fatalities Following Car Accidents
Child Fatalities Following Car Accidents – Car accidents have the potential to cause serious injury or even death, however, when this person is a child, the stakes are even higher. No parents ever expect that their child is going to die before them but, unfortunately, this happens more often than people realize. According to statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):
- Motor vehicle accidents are one of the leading causes of child fatalities in the United States.
- In 2015 alone, close to 700 children under the age of 12 were killed.
- In 2014, more than 120,000 children under the age of 12 sustained serious injuries.
- More than a third of the children who were killed in this study were not wearing a seat belt.
- Close to 600,000 children aged 0 to 12 were not properly restrained in a car.
These numbers are unacceptable and demonstrate that more has to be done to keep children safe in a car. When children aren’t properly restrained, this dramatically increases the chances of children sustaining injuries or being killed.
A Research Study: Factors in Child Car Accidents
Recently, a research study was completed and published by the Association for the Advancement of Automatic Medicine. The research team carried out a detailed study of numerous accidents that led to the deaths of around 100 children during the study period. The data was collected from some of the local police departments. Their statistics and research results show that:
- About half of the accidents were considered not survivable while in the other half, children could have survived with some sort of intervention.
- One of the most common factors was the absence of a seat belt.
- Another common factor was improper seating, such as sitting in an adult seat when a car seat or booster seat would have been more safe.
- About 40 percent of the accidents involved side impacts where the other vehicle intruded into the seating area of a child (considered not survivable).
- Most of the remaining accidents were rollover accidents or front-end collisions.
- The majority of the children who were killed sustained a traumatic brain injury.
This study shows that more can be done to keep children safe in the event of a car accident. While some of these accidents were not survivable, a large proportion was. Therefore, it is incumbent on the parents and caregivers to take every step necessary to make sure that children are protected as much as possible before turning the key.
Preventing Tragedy in the Future
Because many of these fatalities could have been prevented with the use of proper safety restraints and seating, it is important for parents to know the guidelines. Recently, the American Academy of Pediatrics changed its seating guidelines to say that:
- Children should be kept in a rear-facing car seat until they are too heavy to do so (provided by guidelines from the car seat manufacturer).
- Then, children should be seated in a forward-facing car seat until too heavy to do so.
- After this, children graduate to a booster seat until they reach about 4-feet 9-inches tall.
Once children graduate to an adult seat, parents must make sure that they wear their seat belt at all times. Of course, car seats and booster seats must be strapped in as well. However, children often do not like to wear their seat belt because they aren’t used to it. Parents must make sure their children wear a seat belt. It could save their child’s life.
Sacramento Car Accident Lawyers
I’m Ed Smith, a Sacramento Car Accident Lawyer. Child fatalities are always tragic. If you or a loved one has suffered injuries in a car accident, call me at (916) 921-6400 or (800) 404-5400 for free, friendly legal advice.
I am a member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum.
Please take a look at our verdicts or settlements cases.
Child Fatalities Following Car Accidents: AutoAccident.com
Image Attribution: The photo at the start of this article is seen in its original form on Unsplash. The image has been reproduced here with permission/ Child Fatalities Following Car Accidents.
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