Hundreds of children are injured in car accidents every day. Thankfully, the statistics for traffic-related injuries and fatalities are much lower for children than for adults; however, even just one child car accident injury or death is too many.
How common are child car accidents?
Unintentional motor vehicle traffic injury was the top cause of death for children above the age of five in 2014, reports the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
It was the fourth highest cause of death for babies under the age of one year, and the second highest cause of death for children between the ages of one and four years.
Is alcohol a factor in child car accidents?
Almost 1,100 children died in traffic crashes in 2014. Over 200 of these children (19 percent) died in crashes that involved an alcohol-impaired driver.
Over half of the children killed in drunk driving accidents were passengers in vehicles driven by a drunk driver; nearly half of these were not wearing any type of restraint.
How common are child bicycle accidents?
Fifty-four of the 726 cyclists who died in 2014 were children. Ninety-six percent of the child bicyclists died in one-car accidents.
Six thousand of the 50,000 cyclists (12 percent) injured in 2014 were children.
Are children wearing seat belts?
Almost 715 of the 1070 children killed in traffic crashes in 2014 were passengers in motorized vehicles. Of these:
- 241 children were not using any type of child restraint device. That means 34 percent of the total child passenger fatalities likely occurred because the child was not wearing a restraint device.
- 71 percent were in some type of child restraint device, but only if the parent was also wearing a seat belt
- 25 percent of the children were not wearing a seat belt when they were riding with a driver who was wearing a seatbelt.
Parents played a big role in whether children were wearing seat belts. “When the drivers were unrestrained, 70 percent of the children were also unrestrained,” reports the NHTSA.
How do Georgia child car accident statistics compare to the nation?
Unfortunately, the rates of children being killed in traffic crashes in Georgia are higher than the national average. In its Traffic Safety Facts for 2014, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) revealed that children make up 3.3 percent of all traffic fatalities nationally, for a national average of 1.75 fatalities per 100,000 child population.
In Georgia, however, children make up 3.6 percent of all traffic fatalities, for a statewide average of 2.02 fatalities per 100,000 child population.
Is there any good news?
Yes, there is some good news, even with these grim statistics. The traffic crash fatality rates decreased in all age groups of children between 2005 and 2014:
- Babies younger than one year of age had a 55 percent decrease in fatalities.
- The decrease for toddlers between the ages of one and three years was 42 percent.
- Four- to seven-year-olds had a 32 percent decrease.
- Preteens (aged eight to 12 years), had a 49 percent decrease.
- Early teens (ages 13 and 14) had a 54 percent decrease.
How can you keep your child safe in the car?
You do not want your child to be one of these horrible statistics. The NHTSA recommends the following to keep your child safe when traveling in a car:
- Make sure you install your child’s car seat or booster seat according to the installation instructions from both the car seat manufacturer and the car manufacturer. There are different sets of installation instructions for car or booster seats in different types of vehicles in order to ensure your child’s safety.
- Use the proper type of car seat or booster seat for your child’s current size.
- Never put a rear-facing car seat in front of an air bag.
- Do not let your child ride in the front seat until s/he is at least 13 years old.
- Register your car seat with the manufacturer so they can notify you in case there is a safety recall.
- Always make sure your child puts on his/her seat belt before you get moving.
- Avoid drinking and driving or driving while distracted.
If your child has been injured in an auto accident caused by a careless driver, you need to be in the hands of a knowledgeable, compassionate auto accident lawyer. At the Law Office of Jason R. Schultz, P.C., we will handle your claim and treat you with the professionalism and care you and your child deserve.
Call us today at 404-474-0804 to schedule a free consultation to discuss your case.