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Focus on Child Traffic Safety Long Overdue

Better car seats, seat belts and more effective air bags have been able to decrease the number of child auto accident fatalities by close to 45 percent since 2002, but there have still been over 9,000 child car accident fatalities in the last 10 years — a third of which involved children who were not wearing seat belts. According to NBC News, officials with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are focusing on just how vulnerable our young motorists are in these incidents.

“Based on National Highway Traffic Safety Administration calculations, an estimated 3,308 lives were saved by child safety seat use among children aged 0–4 years during 2002–2011,” the report concludes. “If child safety seats were used in motor vehicles 100 percent of the time for children aged 0–4 years, an additional 837 lives could have been saved.”

Our child injury attorneys in Pompano Beach know the importance of motor vehicle safety when it comes to children. These young motorists rely on us for safety on our roadways. Passengers of all ages should be buckled in during each and every car ride. Children need to be seated in an age/weight-appropriate child seat until they’re at least 8-years-old. Only then should they be upgraded to an adult seat belt. Still, all children should ride in the back seat until they’re at least 13-years-old.

According to the CDC’s review of NHTSA information, only about 2 percent of passengers under a year old ride without a car seat. However, more than 20 percent of these passengers who were killed in a car accident were not buckled in on at the time of impact.

The report doesn’t specifically look at the cause of the recent decrease in these fatalities, but many believe that the economy has contributed. Information shows us that people were taking less-frequent trips and were driving less miles during the recent recession.

According to USA TODAY, state child passenger restraint laws prompt more parents and guardians to properly buckle in child passengers in vehicles. A 2012 study by researchers at the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) looked at the impact of laws in five states – Missouri, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, North Carolina and Wyoming – that increased the required car seat or booster seat age to 7 or 8 years. The study found that car seat and booster seat use tripled, and deaths and serious injuries dropped by more than 15 percent.

Contact Freeman Injury Law for a free and confidential consultation to discuss your rights. Call 1-800-561-7777.

More Blog Entries:

Florida’s Fight for Booster Seat Laws, South Florida Injury Lawyers Blog, November 28, 2013

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