How can I protect my child from serious injury in a car accident?
Car accidents remain the number one cause of unintentional injury and death in children under the age of 15. Statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration show that between the years 2010 and 2014, close to 3,000 children died in car accidents across the nation, equating to an average of 11 children per week. Most of the children who died were not wearing their seatbelts or were otherwise not properly restrained. Young children sitting in the front seat and intoxicated drivers were other prominent factors in fatal crashes involving children. Our Los Angeles car accident lawyers discuss a new study examining the causes of child deaths in car accidents and how you can protect your child.
Examining Child Deaths in Car Accidents
Recently, researchers at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston and the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center conducted an analysis as to the causes of fatal car accidents involving children. Researchers found the causes of death among children in motor vehicle crashes vary by state. In Mississippi, for instance, over half of the 99 children who died during the study period were not wearing seatbelts, while in New Hampshire, all five children who died were properly belted in. Rural roads ranked among the most dangerous for children, often due to poor lighting and the distance of trauma centers.
Ensure Your Child is Properly Restrained
Research data points to one clear fact—child restraints are the most effective way to prevent serious injuries or death in children. California law requires that children under the age of two ride in a rear-facing car seat until they weigh at least 40 pounds or are over 40 inches tall. Children under the age of eight must be restrained by a car seat or booster seat in the back seat, as required by California law. Once the child is over the age of eight or has reached a height of four feet nine inches, he or she must be secured by a safety belt. Complying with these restraint laws can make all the difference in the safety of your child in the event of an accident.