There is nothing more sobering and alarming than looking at the statistical data related to car accidents victim and fatalities. And out of all numbers and percentages, the most devastating data is one showing the number of children who lost their lives in car accidents.
Car accidents are still the number one cause of death in children under the age of 12. Data shows that in the U.S. 636 children 12 years old or younger died in car accidents in 2018, with more than 97,000 being injured. 2,885 children died in the U.S. between 2010 and 2014, making an average of 11 children dying every week.
Their data is showing only fatalities caused by car accidents, excluding other accidents like a motorcycle, bicycle, and pedestrian accidents.
Nationwide, the most common reason for this is simply because those children were not wearing seatbelts. Out of those 15 percent were sitting in the front seat, something children below age 13 are not allowed to do. 13 percent were driven by a driver who was under the influence of alcohol, but a staggering 43 percent were simply not restrained properly.
The number of fatally injured children who were restrained also rose in the past 34 years from 15 percent in 1985 to a staggering 56 percent in 2019. And although the children’s restraint use was around 90 percent, according to the national observational survey, those that were unrestrained were more likely to be fatally injured in a crash.
The location of car accidents played a major part in the data too. Roads that were classified as ‘rural’ by the Federal Highway Administration were by far the worst and around 67 percent of deaths among children happened on them.
The reasons were various, from poor lightning and bad roads to a greater distance from any major trauma centers. A driver being unfamiliar with those roads is also one of the reasons why rural roads are so dangerous.
Ways to Reduce the Risk of Car Accidents
Parents and legal guardians can make a great difference by making sure their child is properly restrained during the ride. Using the car seat is a much better solution as it can lower the risk of a child getting injured in a crash by 82%.
Once a child grows out of the car seat, parents should still make use of a booster seat for children aged 4 to 8. The booster seat will reduce the risk of injury by almost 45 percent when compared to using the seat belt only.
Here is a Guide on How to Properly Buckle Your Child in a Car
- From age 0(newborns) to ages 2-4 (depending on the size of a child) use a rear-facing car seat. Until a child reaches the maximum height and weight limit of this car seat, it should be seated and buckled in a car seat that is facing the rear of the car, placed in the back seat.
- Once they outgrow their car seat (reaching car seat height and weight limit), your child should be placed in a car seat that’s facing forward which they will use until age 5 or until they outgrow the limits of this car seat. This car seat should also be placed in the back seat of your car.
- After the age of 5 (or outgrowing the forward-facing car seat) your child will need to use a booster seat. Without it, the seat belt will not sit properly and will not offer sufficient protection to your child. You will know your child is buckled up correctly when the shoulder belt goes across the child’s chest (and not their neck) and the lap belt goes across the child’s upper thighs ( and not their stomach).
If for whatever reason parents are unfamiliar with the ways to properly install children’s car seats or booster seats, they can always get help from a child passenger safety technician. The technicians are almost always certified to teach you about proper child seat installation and also install whichever type of child seat you need in your car.
By installing the child seat properly and using it correctly adhering to the child restraint laws will mean a great deal if you are not the responsible party for your car accidents.
If your child gets injured in car accidents your car accident attorney will have to prove you followed the correct child restraint procedure and did not unintentionally endanger the life of your child.
When they prove you’ve done everything according to the law, they can continue pursuing compensation on your behalf and helping both you and your child cover your medical bills and recover to health much faster. In this case, Nguyen & Chen can help you, so view their website to get more ideas and contact them.
In the end, the data clearly shows just how important it is for parents to properly use children’s restraint when they travel with them. For example, simply putting your child in a car seat is not enough. You need to make sure that the restraints are working properly and that the child is buckled up securely.
Also, driving your child in the front seat is another common mistake, even if you do place them in their car seat. The airbag can prove to cause much more damage to the children when it opens upon impact and is often the cause of the child’s death.