Car Accidents Still Leading Cause of Death for US Children


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The latest data shows that car accidents remain the leading cause of death for children in the US. According to a release from The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), every 34 seconds, a child under the age of 13 is involved in a collision. Young children are especially vulnerable to the effects of a crash and as such, require additional protection. The Numbers

  • In 2011 650 children age 12 or younger died in automobile collisions.
  • Of those fatalities, 33-percent of the children were not buckled.
  • The same year, 148,000 kids were injured.
  • Approximately 1 in 5 child fatalities involves a drunk driver. Most of the time, the intoxicated party is the person transporting the child.
  • Only 40-percent of caretakers follow up with car seat recalls and have the seat repaired, even when parts are shipped at no cost.

Solving the Problem Obviously, the best solution is to create safer roadways, raise driver awareness and reduce collisions overall. However, in our less than utopian society, the mindset needs to be on expecting crashes, understanding the dangers they pose to children, and keeping them safe during the event. There are several things that every driver of child passengers should do. Ensure that a proper safety seat is used. Children up to age 12 may still benefit from the use of a booster seat depending on their height and weight. Infants and toddlers should ride in a rear-facing car seat for as long as the manufacturer of the seat recommends. Those who have graduated beyond the use of a rear-facing seat, but are not ready for a booster yet must be in a forward-facing car seat. The NHTSA has recently created an online tool and apps that can help determine the best seat based on age, weight and height. Infants are 71-percent less likely to die in a crash when riding in a rear-facing seat. Toddlers have a 54-percent reduction in fatality risk, and older children have 48-percent less risk when using the proper belt and seat system. Anyone who is transporting a child should understand how his or her safety seat works. This involves ensuring the seat is belted or tethered to the car itself and that the child is buckled in the seat correctly. Extra care should be taken to verify that the belt system is positioned properly, and that it's not twisted. Car seat inspection stations are a valuable resource and often provide checks as a free service. Car seats should be registered, and caretakers must take action on recalls immediately. If a properly installed and maintained car seat fails to keep a child safe in a collision, the manufacturer may have responsibility for creating a defective product. Children should be centered in the back seat whenever possible, as this is the safest place in the vehicle. When more than one child is riding, accommodations to position can be made, but child passengers should remain in the back seat. Adult drivers must be safe as well. This includes not consuming alcohol prior to driving, plus setting a good example by wearing a seatbelt too.

Charleston Car Accident Attorney

If your child was injured or has passed due to an automobile collision, compensation may be due to you. Our experienced attorneys can help you through this difficult time. We will sort through the evidence, and get you help with medical or funeral expenses as well as recompense for pain, suffering and other non-economic damages. Fill out our online form or speak to an attorney today by calling 1(800)610-2546.

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Clore Law Group welcomes your questions about any issues concerning a serious personal injury, car accident, medical malpractice, nursing home neglect, or business tort. If you have a viable claim, we’ll explain the legal process. Since consultations are always free, there’s no cost in learning your legal options.